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Flower Power-a Book Review

“Flower Power-Fresh, Fabulous Arrangements” by Rebecca Cole with photos by Helen Norman, published by Clarkson Potter.

Just one glance at the cover photo, and you know Rebecca Cole creates unique arrangements with unusual materials, such as artichokes. These designs are as original as they are beautiful.

Cole is a New York City floral, garden, and interior designer. She has her own retail and design business called Cole Creates. She appears regularly on the Today show, and is the star of a Discovery Channel show, Surprise by Design.

In addition to this book Cole has also published “Paradise Found” and “Potted Gardens,” all of which were published by Clarkson Potter.

“Flower Power” includes wonderful step-by-step arrangements complete with a recipe or materials list, but at the same time she encourages readers to be bold and heed their creative instinct. According to Cole, these ideas aren’t written in stone, but are simply a launching pad.

In her childhood, Cole was introduced to flowers at an early age on her grandfather’s farm where she learned to use unusual materials, such as veggies, in designs.

Years later, she left an office job in New York City to work for a farmer selling cut flowers and flats of annuals. Five years later, she opened her own flower and garden shop called the Potted Garden.

Thought this book does have a number of projects illustrated in full color, Cole does much more than that in this remarkable book. She presents an insider’s view of the floral markets. In the first chapter, she takes the reader to the farmers’ market to buy flowers and other floral materials, and gives practical advice on choosing stems, and details on how to condition the flowers.

For the second chapter, she tackles the global flower market, and presents delightful designs featuring orchids, hellebores, and spring flowers.

Later, she gives insight into the average day in the life of a florist, and has some great designs suitable for windows with one using ordinary potatoes.

Another chapter deals with how to pick your own flowers, and ideas for those special occasions when flowers are extremely important, such as Valentine’s Day.

Through her sensational designs, Cole encourages readers to try something unusual. An example is a stunning design featuring celery and roses.

I highly recommend this book not only for the design ideas, but also for all the information it contains about the floral industry, which should be of considerable interest to readers.

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