Flower-Inspired Works in Honor of National Read A Book Day

By Jill Brooke

In honor of “National Read A Book Day,” we wanted to highlight some of the worthy books available for flower lovers. And even highlight ones that will be in stores soon – including next February by cult favorite, Floret Flowers.

You may remember that there was another day devoted to books just last month. August 9th is “National Book Lovers Day.” But “National Read A Book Day” is intended for you to encourage others to spend the day reading.

For this occasion, I would like to give a shout-out to my perennial favorites, the books I always gravitate to whenever I want to wander in the wilderness of words and flowers.  Carolyne Roehm’s books are floral joys – especially “Flowers,” which is a wonderful gift for any occasion – as is “A Passion for Flowers.”

Another enduring favorite is “The Reason for Flowers: Their History, Culture, Biology, and How they Change Our Lives” by Stephen Buchmann. I never tire of reading this perennial.

We all love success stories – especially when it’s not calculated and planned but joyfully serendipitous. Such is the story of Erin Benzakein, the flower farmer behind Floret Flowers in Washington’s Skagit Valley. Leaving Seattle for the rural dream, she and her husband bought a farm and after some misfires started growing cut flowers. Not only did her arrangements find a business at Trader Joe’s – an order for 500 for Mother’s Day was a pivotal aha moment – but her floral workshops became a  coveted event attracting people from around the globe.
Her style spoke to people who were tired of the cold quality of tech and were seeking earthiness in floral design, people who wanted to connect to core values. Popular florists these days such as Ariella Chezar are all about the farm and airy arrangements. Thus you are seeing ranunculus with branches casually curving out of a vase that isn’t from Baccarat but something made of stone or even wood.

 When you get back to simple elegance and natural tableaux,  it’s easier to breathe and re-calibrate, to focus on life’s pleasures.  Erin Benzakein shares the secrets to achieve that in her books; the first, “Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden,” was released in 2017. It sold over 44,000 copies and gave readers the confidence to grow the gardens of their dreams with heirloom varieties and cottage garden staples.

This month she released “Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: 100 Postcards” which is a tease for the next big book, “Floret Farms: A Year in Flowers” which will be released in February, 2020.

Her philosophy is shared by us at Flower Power Daily. It’s not about opulence but about optimizing your connection to Mother Earth and learning valuable life lessons from floral beauty.

 

Leafing through pages of a gardening or floral-inspired book is a treat that isn’t the same as reading a blog, newspaper or Kindle. Words may get absorbed in your brain but vivid close-up pictures from professional photographers showcase flowers that frequently lull you into forms of rapture and lust.

It is why we also cover art at Flower Power Daily, because flowers are inspirational and are woven into sculpture, paintings and crafts.

Because we are a site that explores how flowers and floral motifs resonate in all of the best parts of life, we were intrigued by Kate Alacron’s upcoming book, “Uncommon Paper Flowers.”  The idea that someone would spend hours to craft these paper flowers with such exquisite detail is worth celebrating. As someone described it, the book unveils the alluring world of uncommon botanicals and how to craft them on paper. Eye-catching, it is filled with botanical trivia including how a prickly cactus played a storied role in the founding of an ancient city and that there is a tiny pink mushroom that glows green in the dark.  The book comes out October 15th, but you can pre-order it now. Great holiday gift.

One of our popular offerings here at Flower Power Daily is culinary items ranging from drinks to food. “Floral Libations” is by Cassie Winslow, the founder of the blog Deco Tartelette.  It was released in the spring. Not only are the pictures eye candy, but the recipes taste good too. There is one for Iced Lavender Cafe au Lait that will immediately inspire the reader to update their daily java. There’s also a recipe for Rose Petal Almond Milk that can be added to tea.

Whether you are hosting a baby shower or celebrating a birthday party – and want to whip up some Pansy Margaritas – Winslow shows that a little effort will make a signature drink memorable – and your party too.

Finally, I would like to mention other books you may want to peruse. “Flower Color Guide” by Darroch Putnam and Michael Putnam as well as “Redoute: The Book of Flowers” by Walter Lack.

One should always be interested in learning from the masters.  Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759–1840) was a botanical illustrator whose drawings led him to be called the Raphael of flowers and the greatest floral illustrator of all time.

Talent is always in bloom.

You might also check out our previous column of book picks.

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent and editor of Avenue and Travel Savvy Magazine as well as an author and columnist. She is the founder of Flower Power Daily.

Photo Credits:  Floret Farms Books by Chris Benzakein, Floral Libations by Doan Ly, Chronicle Books