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Useful Addition for any Gardener's Library
Posted by Foothills Reader on 11/18/2007
Although I have dozens of garden books that include cutting and arranging flowers, this one is so much more. It is a top-notch reference book that you will use often, whether or not you are a novice or experienced gardener. Linda Beutler not only tells you exactly how to grow, cut, prepare and arrange flowers in detail, she will inspire you. After reading her book I ventured into my own fall garden with a small bucket of water and shears to cut a few spent hydrangea blossoms, yellow margarites and gold chrysanthemum sprigs, and some wayward shrub branches. I removed a couple of stalks from the zebra grass and picked my one stunning dark purple re-blooming iris to become the center of my arrangement. As I wandered about I also gathered some broken twigs from a recent storm. Using her detailed guidelines for preparing both woody and soft stemmed cuttings, I found a wide-mouthed glass vase and created my own beautiful masterpiece in less than a half hour.
The first part of the book covers all the "how-to-do" basics and includes stunning color photos of flower arrangements, many created from typical home gardens. She illustrates design techniques, discusses seasonal uses, advises on which plants (and fruits) to grow or buy for both fresh and dry creations. The second half of the book covers many familiar flowers, vines and shrubs in detail--many photographed in companion plantings. Each entry includes whether it is annual or perennial, planting zone, anticipated size and other details found in most garden books. But then she expands each entry to include garden availability, harvesting, conditioning, vase life and buying tips. Reading her informative and chatty text is more like talking with a gardening friend. For example, tulips are her favorite flowers because her father gave her a bouquet of red tulips for her tenth birthday.
This beautiful book is also full of creative ideas for making unusual containers out of pumpkins, gourds and basically anything that will hold water and if it doesn't do that, she has tips for making it work! I could go on and on about what a great garden book this is. If you buy it as a gift for a gardening friend, you'd better get two because once you see what it has to offer, you are going to want to keep it for yourself!
Garden to Vase: Growing and Using Your Own Cut Flowers, By Linda Beutler
Posted by Carol Watkins on 10/18/2007
What a treasure to add to my gardening library. Linda Beutler offers insights into the creation of floral arrangements and the growth of plants that go into them. The book covers the basics of floral design, giving the reader confidence to explore a fascinating aspect of gardening. Creative uses for plants from your current garden are explored. The tips for harvesting and preparing flowers for arrangements are written in a clear style for beginner and more advanced gardeners. This book includes an alphabetical directory, that describes the flowers, foliage, and fruit of more that 200 plants. Each entry includes the plants habit, hardiness, height, fragrance, and appearance; when it can be harvested; how to grow it; and how it should be conditioned. The photography of flowers and arrangements, done by Allan Mandell, is absolutely exquisite. I would highly recommend this book to all who love the beauty and possibilities of flowers.
Difinitive resource for cut flowers from your garden
Posted by nehaleminthesun on 4/19/2008
I've been looking for a book like this for a long time! I am often at a loss
for cut-flower 1) inspiration and 2) knowledge when it comes to flowers from my own garden. I admit I've been a bit intimidated when going out in my yard with shears in hand, fear of "wrecking" what flower display I did have outside. Linda Beutler's extensive first-hand experience as both gardener and florist is helping to dispell the limiting factors of my own beliefs. And, on another level, her creative ideas think outside the box, and add many more plants to what I "thought" could be used for cut flowers. The key for me is, she shows how to SUCCESSFULLY use all these plants--successful both for flower arrangement indoors and for the vigor of the plant that's growing out in your garden.
This book tells you everything you need to know, from bloom time to potential in a vase, from how to condition a cut flower properly to the light/soil/water needs of the plant itself. And much more. Lots of artistic inspiration for the beautiful arrangements in vases (and inspiration for the vases!). Encyclopedia sections are comprehensive and easy to read.
Linda's writing style is a pleasure, fun and whimsical, from an obviously very intelligent source. My mind is expanded! And it's been a fun journey.
Thank you, Linda!