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Garden Glory: Learn How to Create Stylish, Seasonal Bouquets
The next best thing to being surrounded by the real thing is immersing yourself in a floral volume packed with pretty pictures and, hopefully, sage advice.
Valerie Easton's latest book, Petal & Twig: Seasonal Bouquets with Blossoms, Branches, and Grasses from Your Garden (Sasquatch Books, January 2012; $16.95), is just such a treat. The popular gardening writer (a longtime columnist for the Seattle Times' Pacific Northwest magazine) has created one easy-to-follow, season-by-season tutorial on how to turn your homegrown flora into fabulous floral arrangements. As well as inventive seasonal designing ideas (say, for wintertime, employing Evergreen Huckleberry or weeping white pine), you'll find the basics on vases, care and cutting, plus a handy "What to Grow" core list.
The book's simple, personal-journal approach—Easton even snapped most of the book's featured blooms, which were mostly culled from her 2,400-square-foot garden—is not only a particular pleasure, but makes it easy for gardening newbies to dig into its contents.
"Every bit of material you see in these bouquets is gathered from my own little backyard garden in Langley, traded with neighbors, or scavenged from roadsides or alleys within a few blocks of home," writes Easton. "I'm continually surprised at how different these materials look in various combinations and vases. Figuring out how to make the most of what I have room to grow is a big part of the fun. It's like cooking from the refrigerator and cupboards rather than running to the store when you can't figure out what to make for dinner."
Here's to a fun read, and to cooking up your own cool custom bouquets year-round.