6 Breathtakingly Beautiful Flower Books for Summer

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By Jill Brooke

It’s summer time and not only are the flowers blooming but so are the book titles about beautiful blooms.

Here is a round-up of six new highly anticipated books. Inside these pages is expert advice to elevate your knowledge of flower arranging and enhance your understanding of the flora around us.  For me, opening these pages brings joy and reinforces that the world is both beautiful and bountiful.

1) A Sweet Floral Life – Romantic Arrangements for Fresh and Sugar Flowers

Natasja Sadi –  yes that Instagram sensation –  is a beloved floral artist who composes fresh flower arrangements and sculpts exquisite sugar flowers from her home atelier in Amsterdam.  A former fashion designer, Sadi began making flowers out of sugar to honor her African and Indonesian ancestors who worked in the sugarcane fields of Suriname. Her work is beloved by millions.

This book teaches people how to create exquisite, lifelike sugar flowers and arrange them with fresh blooms in arrangements that awe and delight. Plus anyone who enjoys pottery and china will love the pictures and how the flowers are placed in the most beautiful settings. Yes, all details matter. Which speaks to another chapter title. “Nurturing Intimacy with Nature.” It is her signature. This is a great book for anyone who just wants to get lost in the beauty of floral design and creatively satisfying projects.

2) Flowers for All – Modern Floral Arrangements for Beauty, Joy and Mindfulness Every Day

Susan McLeary is not only a teacher but a floral artist who knows how to have fun. In previous books, she has taught many fans how to incorporate flowers in jewelry, clothing and hairpieces. In this book, there are 30 “recipes’ for floral design spanning how to make a memorable dinner party centerpiece, an arrangement to induce calm and focus as well as a monochromatic mix. The book is divided into three sections – flowers for home, flowers for gifts and flowers for larger celebrations. Her work is always practical and innovative.

3) Piet Oudolf At Work – Phaidon

This book is a highlight reel of the world-famous Dutch gardener and innovator. Showcasing gardens throughout his career  – from New York’s acclaimed High Line to the newly planted Vitra Campus in Germany – it also includes his drawings to see the evolution of these designs. A leading figure of the perennial movement, his designs using drifts of grasses and perennials influence not only landscape design but floral design. His focus on structural characteristics – such as leaf or seed pod shape, present before and after a plant has flowered – has also influenced floral designers.

4) National Audubon Society Wildflowers of North America

With wildflowers being used more in arrangements, this comprehensive guide covers all bases. The result of a collaboration among leading scientists, scholars, taxonomic and field experts, photo editors, and designers, it has been updated for the first time in decades to reflect the impact of climate change and the advancements in DNA sequencing and studies that have radically altered the classification process. It also comes as an easy-to-handle, flex-bound edition, featuring a ribbon marker, glossary, and index. It also inspires you to want to take a walk in a flower-filled meadow.

5) Jeff Leatham – The Art of the Flower – Simon &. Schuster

This book is a must-buy for any florist wanting to get hotel work and learn skills from the master of “lobby” floral design. Not only has Jeff Leatham – a favorite of stars ranging from Kim Kardashian to Oprah Winfrey – been asked to create installations for the Philadelphia Flower Show and New York Botanical Garden’s orchid exhibit, but he has been the designer for the Four Seasons in N.Y., L.A., Philadelphia and the iconic George V in Paris, where during the Tom Ford fashion years, his works were appreciated by everyone from Yves St. Laurent to Karl Lagerfeld. Leatham’s lush floral vision brings old-world movie glamour to every table, display and hotel lobby. Wanting to transport people for an “escape from reality,” Leatham says he strives for his works to be “idealistic, elegant and chic” and of course, boldly original.

6) Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht – Flower Love – Random House August 2023

Although known as the judge on Netflix’s “The Big Flower Fight,” celebrity floral designer Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht designs with an enthusiastic flair and welcoming flamboyance. What separates him from the pack is that his work is always cozy yet sophisticated and his big heart smiles with each flower selection – and page in this book. He shares not only spectacular designs but mantras including “substitutions are okay,”  “look for oddballs” and “foliage is not filler.” After all, “no flower or leaf is without its purpose.”

Also coming up in the fall, one of everyone’s favorite floral photographers Debi Shapiro has a new book called, “Beauty in Bloom.”

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD and a contributor to Florists Review magazine and other magazines and newspapers.