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Advanced floral course

Paula Pryke's Flower School Mastering the Art of Floral Design Paula Pryke Rizzoli New York, $45

April 06, 2006|Nancy Yoshihara

For those who love flowers in the house but can't do a thing with them except plop them in a vase, this book could change your floral life. The author, an internationally renowned floral designer based in London, provides an excellent primer on creating eye-catching arrangements from dainty boutonnieres to multitier topiaries.

Drawing on lessons from her floral design school, Pryke begins with fundamentals -- color, form, scale, textures and contrasts. She explains various arrangement styles, the use of different flowers and vases and the buying, cutting and conditioning of flowers.

She also provides a list of equipment essential to creating personal floral statements: scissors, a sharp knife and some strong pruning shears and floral foam, tape, a selection of wire, raffia and sea grass.

Most useful is Pryke's step-by-step, how-to photo demonstrations of putting together arrangements and colors. With study and practice, a reader may be able to create a hand-tied bouquet, basket arrangements, trailing table top arrangements and wired accessories, including bridal headdresses and seasonal wreaths.

This is a wonderful reference for anyone interested in floral arranging. It's may offer more information than any flower lover may need, but the lessons could mean that as a florist-in-residence you'll never just plop flowers in a vase.

-- Nancy Yoshihara

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