Petal Perfect: Flower Books Mom Will Love

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By Jill Brooke

With spring bursting with color and possibility, publishers often unveil books to tickle the fantasies and interests of flower lovers.

Here are my favorite books to give to your Mom or any loved one who helps you grow and bloom!

1)Tulipina’s Floral Fantasy: Magnificent Arrangements and Design Inspiration

 In the pantheon of floral stars creating wedding magic, Kiara Underwood is in a league of her own. In the past few years, Underwood’s lush  wedding arches and walkways in Lake Como have enchanted Instagram and seasoned florists. She is truly a singular talent with her workshops around the globe selling out like a Taylor Swift concert.

The book is a delightful romp into her world where readers can learn about flower arranging and be mesmerized by the many photos of her large scale weddings in Lake Como, Italy.

Plus Underwood offers her theories of color design and shares intimate details in creating the arrangements for holidays, weddings, festive parties and every day life celebrations that make us all drool and smile in delight.

2) Brilliant English Gardens

It is no secret that Clive Nichols is to garden photography what Monet is to water lilies. His work is colorful, precise and he brilliantly captures the majesty of botanicals. Whether it’s a single flower or a garden path, Nichols work sparks awe and delight – which is also why collectors want prints of his work. In this book, Nichols gathered twenty-seven of what he calls the most brilliant gardens in England. He of course is invited everywhere and his access is awesome. In this volume there are gardens  from the North Pennines to Somerset, from East Anglia to Kent. Houses and gardens featured include Forde Abbey, Arundel Castle, Thenford Arboretum, Parham House, Hadspen (The Newt) and Hauser & Wirth. Landscape designers include Patrice Taravella, Emma Keswick, Anthony Paul, Julian and Isabel Bannerman. A perfect Mother’s Day gift for any mother who loves gardens and wants to drool over photography.

3) Beauty in Bloom: Floral Portraits

As one of Debi Shapiro’s biggest fans, her photographs have dazzled and inspired thousands. This book is a pleasure to peruse. In the same way that Georgia O’Keefe created large scale flowers so people would stop and focus on the moment, Debi Shapiro’s images invite us into her happy place. Each shimmering petal, each green leaf, each perky poppy comes alive and dances with merriment with her lens.

Inspired by the 17th century floral still life paintings of the Dutch Masters, as well as the oversized flowers of Georgia O’Keefe, Shapiro’s book has over 200 images to indulge in. Whenever someone needs a reason to smile and recalibrate, any of these pictures help. Plus she also sells these images to frame.

4) Flowering: Easygoing Floral Design for Surprising Contemporary Arrangements

Elizabeth Jaime is the owner of Miami-based floral studio Calma Floral which is known for its uber cool contemporary designs. Of course, the images in this how-to book are spot on. “Before I was a florist I was a photo editor at Conde Nast,” explains Jaime.

To differentiate from other floral books, Jaime looks for “irreverent arrangements for any occasion.” It’s a nice sensibility especially for a younger audience and brides-to-be. Thinking out of the box is her focus and “incorporating a variety of elements and textures” whether you’re looking for a bright bouquet of reflexed roses to gift to a friend, a table runner of carnations and candles for a dinner party, or an installation of dried palms to hang in your entryway.

There are also 20 step-by-step guides with photos so no trying to figure something out. Whether it’s a mossy mounded centerpiece or a suspended cloud of fluffy mimosa, Jaime has a touch worth looking at.

5) Grace Rose Farm: Garden Roses: The Complete Guide to Growing & Arranging Spectacular Blooms

Gracielinda Pouldon is considered one of the best rose growers in the U.S. This book is hailed as a “guide to growing, cutting and arranging the most beautiful roses in the world.”

Since there are so many rose lovers among us, this is a lovely way to enjoy numerous pictures of roses as well as ways to keep and grow flowers in containers and gardens. But the best part is how she recommends her favorite varieties. Sweet Mademoiselle for Hybrid Tea Roses or Out of Africa if you fancy a Floribunda. Or maybe David Austin’s Roald Dahl for a shrub rose. Also she breaks up favorites by colors too. Smart and surprisingly not often done. Definitely appreciated how she invoked David Austin’s Eustacia Vye shrub rose.

Considering that containers are being used more and more in wedding walkways, knowing a thing or two about containers is helpful. Also, there is ample discussions of creating elaborate tablescapes and floral arches. This book will appeal to both the florist and consumer.

Furthermore, her story shows how destiny and love root and create opportunities.  Inspired by her grandmother, Gracie started a rose farm in 2015. Soon she planted over 500 bushes and shared her story. Now requests for special blooms come from designers around the country turning it into a real business. Now we have her book. Success comes in many forms and these stories – and skills – can inspire all of us.

6) 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. Mining the past, she produces modern fresh creations that delight and amaze.

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. A great book for anyone who just wants to get lost in the beauty of floral design.

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. She also won the 2023 AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers.) Merit Award for showing how flowers impact history, news and culture