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Recommended Books on Flowers

Recommended Books on Flowers

Books any floral-minded individual should read

Have you ever wanted to be a florist? Growing up, I always got this feeling upon entering a flower shop. The aesthetic was most appealing, but the scentsual experience when surrounded by thousands of flowers was quite unique – impossible to recreate in any natural setting.

For people allergic to pollen (like myself), this emotion can be quite frustrating. It almost feels like some forbidden pleasure that must be avoided for fear of sneezing in public places… it can get messy sometimes.

Reading into floral literature is the first step to overcoming one’s fears of pollen, ineptitude in design, and lack of floral knowledge in general. It’s totally worth doing – as a straight male with an appreciation for art, I can safely say that flowers are amongst the most interesting topics I have ever studied.

The two books that really stand out to me are The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and The Judith Blacklock Encyclopedia of Flower Design. There are many more, but these two are pretty much all you need to have a strong grasp on Floriology (Victorian meanings of flowers) and design theory.

The Language of Flowers - by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Compelling, unique and girly are the three adjectives I choose for this book. Compelling because this book convinced me that flowers were interesting; it did so through storytelling – who doesn’t like a good story!? Unique because it is the only novel I know of related to floriology, and girly because… well, it’s about flowers and the story is told from a female’s perspective.

Nevertheless, there is no better way to memorize the overwhelming amount of information than through a narrative. Ms Diffenbaugh is highly knowledgeable when it comes to flowers and how they were gifted between lovers in the Victorian Era (1837-1901). Through years of research, the author has succeeded in selecting the most accurate meanings of hundreds of flower types. Depicted by an account of Victoria Jones, an orphaned girl who can only find affinity in plants and flowers, there is much floral knowledge offered in this novel. The author tailors the storyline so the audience discovers new flowers and their meanings through Victoria’s perspective.

Allowing room for imagination, tied with a memorable storyline, The Language of Flowers offers a unique way to understand the etymology and memorize the meaning of flowers. I highly recommend this book for anyone new to the floral industry or people that just want a good summer read!

The Judith Blacklock Encyclopedia of Flower Design

The Encyclopedia of Flower Design is my reference to any arrangement I am unsure of how to build. This book is an alternative to floral classes, which cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. While the personal experience of being tutored by a master florist cannot be paralleled, this book provides a much less costly solution to learning floral design basics and advanced methods.

Starting with the elements and principles of design, Ms Blacklock explains form, texture, space and color concepts of designing any arrangement in depth. Throughout the publication are gorgeous pictures of arrangements which better explain her theory and offer inspiration for your personal designs.

Diagrams offer clear, step-by-step instructions to building traditional bouquets, vased flowers,  contemporary designs, handtieds and posies, wedding flowers, large scale arrangements, show work and foliage origami.

Reading and applying this book in its entirety to actual floral design would probably take a year. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in floral design – whether making arrangements around the house, or a seasoned florist who wants some inspiration for new designs and techniques.

It is amazing how one trick can change your whole perspective on floral design. Knowing a few will increase productivity and design quality – it has certainly worked for The After Hours Flowers.

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