1. For the New Plant Parent
What’s Wrong with my Houseplant?
By David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth
I found this at The Huntington Library’s Store a few years ago, but with the rising popularity of houseplants it’s a great gift to someone you might know who just loves buying houseplants, but might need some guidance on helping them to thrive! What’s great is you can shop online now at thehuntingtonstore.org.
Houseplants add style, clean the air, and bring nature indoors. But they are often plagued with problems—aphids, mealybugs, mites, and thrips to name just a few. What’s Wrong With My Houseplant? shows you how to keep indoor plants healthy by first teaching you how to identify the problem and solve it with a safe, natural solution. This hardworking guide includes plant profiles for 148 plants organized by type with visual keys to the most of common problems, and the related organic solutions that will lead to a healthy plant.
2. For the Shakespeare Fan
Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium of All the Flowers, Fruits, Herbs, Trees, Seeds, and Grasses Cited by the World’s Greatest Playwright
By Gerit Quealy
There are Shakespeare gardens around the world inspired by the bard’s writings. Here is a book that puts them all together for you so you can build your own garden inspired by a poem or sonnet or three! From the Publisher Website:
BOTANICAL SHAKESPEARE begins with a brief look at Shakespeare’s world and the flowering of ‘green desire’. The author and artist reveal Shakespeare’s keen awareness of botany alongside his unparalleled ability to catapult nature into the land of emotion and metaphor, creating some of the world’s most unforgettable passages. Quealy and Hasegawa provide portraits of the over 170 flowers, fruits, grains, grasses, trees, herbs, seeds and vegetables that are named in Shakespeare’s poems and plays alongside all the lines in which they appear—something never before done. BOTANICAL SHAKESPEARE’s evocative color illustrations are further enhanced by identification of the specific work in which each line appears, as well as the character who says it. The elegant typefaces and meticulous arrangement of plants and quotes throughout the book mirror the richness of Shakespeare’s writing.
3. For the New Flower Arranger
Jane Packer’s Flower Course
By Jane Packer
Jane Packer is the best at this sort of how-to book. Why look anywhere else? Here is all about the book from Simon & Schuster’s site:
Jane Packer Flowers is one of the world’s most influential floristry companies, with a distinctively elegant yet refreshingly modern look.
The highly successful Jane Packer flower schools make the company’s floral expertise and design creativity available to all those who are lucky enough to attend. For those who can’t, Jane Packer’s Flower Course covers exactly the same ground as the flower school’s highly regarded four-week Career Course, including Foundation Floristry and the Foundation Bridal. The emphasis is on clarity and simplicity, so glorious photographs of finished arrangements are accompanied by step-by-step photographs and easy-to-follow instructions. The book is divided into three different sections. Flowers to Give teaches the techniques necessary for a variety of irresistible floral gifts as well as bouquets arranged in baskets, bags, and boxes. Flowers for the Home covers arrangements of all shapes and sizes, while the third section, Flowers for Celebrations, provides all the know-how for party flowers, festive wreaths, and table arrangements and last, but not least, beautiful wedding flowers. Jane Packer’s Flower Course distils floral expertise and style into one essential volume that imparts all the secrets of creating beautiful floral designs. It’s a must for anyone who loves flowers.
4. For The Smithsonian Fan
Flora: Inside the Secret World of Plants
By The Smithsonian and Kew Gardens
Every summer, I take the kids to Washington, D.C. and we visit all the Smithsonian museums on The National Mall. Needless to say, we are big fans of The Smithsonian Institution! Here is a wonderful book by a favorite publisher as well.
Flora: Inside the Secret World of Plants is sumptuously photographed and illustrated. This gorgeous page-turner makes a joy of botany with its clear and fascinating explanations on such varied topics—including photosynthesis, seed growth, and the ability of flowers to manipulate nearby creatures. Who knew? Botanical patterns often graced the robes of Qing dynasty empresses.
5. Beautiful Botanical Reference Book found at Roger’s Gardens
The Botanical Bible
By Sonia Patel Ellis
Each fall, I drive an hour down to Newport Beach, Calif. to visit Rogers Gardens. It’s an amazing one-of-a-kind plant nursery, florist and home decor store. With its vast acreage and on-site restaurant, this is a place to go for holiday decorating ideas as well as gifts and plants. Each Halloween and Christmas, the garden is decked out beyond your imagination with so many gift offerings, you just have to go to experience it fully. They do have an online store now.…woo-hoo! So, here is a book from their vast collection of books you might like to have as a lovely reference to flowers and plants.
The Botanical Bible combines art, science, and the insights of internationally renowned plant experts to celebrate the beauty, diversity, and vitality of our botanical world.
An elegant and comprehensive introduction to everything there is to know about flowers and plants, The Botanical Bible covers the history of horticulture, the evolution of the Plant Kingdom, basic botany, and much more. Gorgeously illustrated throughout and packed with information and hands-on projects, The Botanical Bible is the ultimate guide for aspiring gardeners, botanists, homesteaders and anyone seeking a more meaningful relationship with nature.
6. Interior Designer Flowers
Charlotte Moss Flowers
By Charlotte Moss
Every year another interior designer published a book on floral design. After all, flowers do add the finishing touch to every room! Here is the latest book by interior designer Charlotte Moss. Like most interior designers, the arrangements lean heavily on “one-flower” designs. There are not that many composite designs (designs with lots of different blooms). What this does show you is how an interior designer would “finish” a room and it teaches you that it’s with bowls and vases of a single type of flower. This is a floral design trend style that never goes out of style. From Rizzoli:
Renowned interior designer and tastemaker Charlotte Moss celebrates flowers and offers endless inspiration in their use as glorious additions to decorating, entertaining, and everyday living.
Charlotte Moss encourages readers to bring the garden indoors–with ideas for arranging flowers, selecting containers, and placing blossoms around the house. An inviting cluster of blooms on a guest room’s bedside table, lavish floral displays for parties and holidays, single stems adding life to any corner of a room–Moss has been photographing her flower arrangements for over a decade. This book is a celebration of her artistry and a testament to flowers as part of day-to-day life.
7. Exterior Garden Rooms Design
The Art of Outdoor Living: Gardens for Entertaining Family and Friends
By Scott Shrader
We all spent more time at home in the last year and a half an it’s nice to dream about what an ideal outdoor entertainment space in your own yard could look like if you had any type of budget! This book offers glimpse on what is possible even if it’s in your dreams. Even if you can only adapt a few ideas form the book, your home life can be elevated. From Rizzoli:
For anyone who wants to live well in their garden, here is a guide to creating stylish and livable outdoor spaces–for entertaining, playing, and relaxing.
Pools made private by lush plantings, bedrooms open to the back yard, bar seating by the outdoor oven. California native and exterior architect Scott Shrader is known for creating covetable outdoor rooms for clients including Ellen DeGeneres and Patrick Dempsey. In his first book, he shares the grounds of twelve beautiful properties, all designed to be lived in and enjoyed as extensions of the homes they surround, rich with creature comforts. Shrader shows us how to connect the landscape outside with interior decor; resulting in an exterior environment that flows naturally, stylishly and serenely from this core. He also inspires us to think of the way these outdoor spaces will be used, and plan ahead for ways to keep our family and guests fed, warm, and entertained in them. Folded in between the featured gardens–which range in style from Hollywood Regency to Modern Moroccan–are meditative essays on topics including Sustainability, Lifestyle, and Pathways, as Shrader reflects on the ways that gardens change constantly in small ways, shifting mood with the light and the weather, transforming dramatically with the cycle of the seasons and the passage of years. These are modern, chic gardens and outdoor entertainment spaces specifically designed for cooking, entertaining, playing, and relaxing.
8. For Nature-Loving Families
The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook
By Clare Walker Leslie
The Theodore Payne Foundation inspires and educates Southern Californians about the beauty and ecological benefits of California native plant landscapes. Located in Sun Valley, Calif., you can go and purchase native plants to have in your own gardens. Now is the time to plant native species and they can help you find out which plants will work well in your area of California. Every part of our state has its own unique bio climate…so you want to make sure you have the right plants to thrive in your micro-zone.
This book is a way to help families connect with nature! It’s a great gift for the whole family!
Clare Walker Leslie shows kids how to experience nature with all five senses, whether they live in the countryside, a major city, or somewhere in between. Guiding children through inspiring activities like sketching wildlife, observing constellations, collecting leaves, keeping a weather journal, and watching bird migrations, The Nature Connection encourages kids to engage with the world outside and promotes a lifelong love of nature.
9. For the Budding Flower Farmer
by Felicia Alvarez
This book is for all the flower farmers out there or just the rose lovers who want to learn how to grow roses better. Bloom Imprint publishing is a company owned and operated by Debra Prinzing, founder of Slow Flowers and creative director Robin Avni. They have many books in the works and some are available now for purchase. Flower Duet was featured in their second publication called, Where We Bloom and you can purchase that now. Here is an excerpt from the publisher:
Do you dream of possessing a magical rose garden or a thriving flower farm? Whether you long to fill your own acreage with roses or consider yourself more of a weekend gardener, Menagerie Farm & Flower’s Felicia Alvarez can help make your love affair with roses a joyous and rewarding experience. Whatever your level of passion, with her twenty years of farming experience Felicia will guide you with sound advice and detailed horticultural knowledge. PRE-ORDER your copy now!
10. For the Botanical Artist
by Julia Trickey
One of our long-time floral design students originally started to take classes with us because she liked to paint flowers as still life subjects. She wanted to learn how to design with flowers in order to paint them. She loved working with flowers so much, she became a florist! This book is for people who like to paint flowers, too. Number one — it’s beautiful! Number two — if you want to learn more, you can take online flower painting courses from this artist/teacher, too!
Here is a bit about the book from the publisher:
Get up close to the beauty and detail of nature through the artwork of award-winning UK artist, Julia Trickey. See how ordinary and sometimes overlooked subjects, such as leaves and fading flowers, can be centre stage and come to life in this beautiful showcase of some of Julia’s best-loved botanical watercolours.
Having been a tutor of botanical art for many years, teaching as far afield as Moscow and New York, Julia loves to help others explore the potential of watercolour and to discover the keys to a good botanical portrait. In this book she shares some of these insights as well as the motivation behind some of her favourite projects, together with the process and watercolour techniques involved. Take inspiration from these glowing, contemporary watercolours in a book that is both beautiful and useful.