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.

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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.

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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.

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4. For The Smithsonian Fan

Flora Book

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.

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5. Beautiful Botanical Reference Book found at Roger’s Gardens

The Botanical Bible

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.

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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.

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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.

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8. For Nature-Loving Families

The Nature Connection

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.

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9. For the Budding Flower Farmer

Growing Wonder Book

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!

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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.

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