Flora Reading | Wyatt’s World

There are many seasons to book publishing, from the fall list to January’s self-help explosion. Hovering around Valentine’s Day and the early push for spring are the flower books. Here are five seasonal examples.

  • Rachel Ashwell: My Floral Affair; Whimsical Spaces and Beautiful Florals by Rachel Ashwell (CICO).
    Much of the joy in home and garden books is the lavish presentation. Ashwell takes readers on a tour of spaces most would love to inhabit, such as an English country house or a Paris apartment. It is all simply beautiful and over the top, but grounding the work somewhat are diagrams of the flowers in her designs.
  • Essential Native Trees and Shrubs for the Eastern United States: The Guide to Creating a Sustainable Landscape by Tony Dove & Ginger Woolridge (Imagine).
    The concomitant pleasures of a lavish presentation are practicality and usefulness in planning a garden. Dove and Woolridge educate readers on all manner of plants, many blooming, that will thrive on the East Coast (there are equivalent books for every area of the country).
  • Peonies: Beautiful Varieties for Home & Garden by Jane Eastoe; photos by‎ Georgianna Lane (Gibbs Smith).
    Peonies are sheer delight—in sight and scent. Gardener and flower expert Eastoe offers growing guidance and details on the many varieties, while Lane, noted for her romantic photographs on Instagram, provides richly developed shots.
  • Martha’s Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering, and Enjoying by Martha Stewart & Kevin Sharkey (Clarkson Potter: Crown).
    An aspirational yet instructive guide, Stewart’s volume teaches how to plant, grow, and harvest a flower garden. The author also walks readers through her flora creations, from simple bouquets to stunning displays.
  • Color Me Floral: Stunning Monochromatic Arrangements for Every Season by Kiana Underwood; photos by Nathan Underwood (Chronicle).
    One of the chief principles of flower arranging is to create a monochromatic design, using a single tone to illustrate the range of flower choices. Underwood follows the seasons and shows how colors span the rainbow.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt is LJ's reader's advisory columnist. She writes The Reader's Shelf, RA Crossroads, Book Pulse, and Wyatt's World columns. She is currently revising The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 3d ed. (ALA Editions, 2018). Contact her at nwyatt@mediasourceinc.com.

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