How practical is Martha Stewart’s new book “Martha’s Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering and Enjoying” (Clarkson Potter, $45)?
In the introduction, Stewart describes her 150-acre property in Katonah, N.Y., among others, inspirational missions to Giverny, France, her 600 rose bushes and traversing her property on horseback. In a chapter on daffodils, she is pictured standing in an empty boccie court-turned-cutting garden — don’t we all have one? — filled with 3,000 daffodil bulbs.
In other words, if you are an apartment-dwelling patio gardener or drought-tolerance-minded, this may not be the most relatable resource for growing flowers year-round.
But there is no denying Stewart’s passion for gardening and her first-hand experience as a gardener — she claims to have grown nearly all of the flowers herself — which is thoroughly detailed in the book’s beautifully illustrated 287 pages.
Written with Kevin Sharkey, who is in charge of cutting and arranging for Stewart, the book details planting, watering, fertilizing and pruning a wide variety of flowers from tulips and lilacs in the spring, to hydrangea and clematis in the summer, to sunflowers and dahlias in autumn.
Troubleshooting tips are specific, from deadheading to natural pesticides, and in typical Martha Stewart fashion, there is a chapter on tools and vessels for arranging flowers.
Stewart has built an empire on creating joy at home and this book is no different. Who doesn’t enjoy cut flowers at home? But if you don’t have space for a dahlia bed, do the next best thing and buy this gorgeous coffee table book for a flower-loving mom this Mother’s Day.