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Garden Bouquets and Beyond Book Review

Garden Bouquets and Beyond-Creating Wreaths, Garlands, and More in Every Garden Season is by celebrated author Suzy Bales. Released by Rodale, this must-have title features a foreword by renowned flower/plant expert Dr. Allan M. Armitage and lush color photos by Steven Randazzo.

This is an excellent guide for both novice and experienced floral designs. I like the fact that this volume is not only inspirational but also practical and instructive at the same time. It has all sorts of valuable information on floral design that we can use throughout the year.

There is extensive information on cutting and conditioning the flower stems. It covers all aspects of floral design from choosing flowers, foliage, and containers to coaxing a flower bud to open. Readers can also learn how to make their cut flowers last longer.

There is so much to learn in this volume. The author covers all sorts of creative flower containers, such as candle cups and urns to a wicker glove. In addition, the author discusses different kinds of floral supplies, such as floral foam.

Throughout the book there are inspiring examples of cutting edge designs to use throughout the home as well as in outdoor living areas, such as patios. The author also shows how to decorate gift boxes with flowers.

This has a section for each season of the year with more examples of designs than one can use in a year’s time. For each period, the author has wonderful examples of designs using seasonal flowers, fruits, and pods. There are tips on using these materials to create stunning arrangements. The designs include ones using straw hats and urns as the base.

Garlands and wreaths are given their own chapters. The wreath made of fall foliage is particularly striking. The wreaths are quite different than the plain round ones that we see at Christmas. There is a lovely color wheel floral wreath.

This title also devotes particular attention to the different kinds of floral topiaries. Readers will learn how to use bare tree branches to create stunning topiary-like designs.

For each design, the author shows how to display it. There are delightful ideas on using the flower wreaths to decorate garden statuary and garden lanterns.

There is also an extensive discussion on choosing colors. This also has valuable tips for cutting gardens. The appendix has a very helpful list of cut flowers and their vase life along with a list of sources.

For the purpose of disclosure, I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.

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