Check It Out: Learn to make beautiful flower bouquets

Flowers are in bloom and summer is a wonderful time of year to devote to their arrangement for the home and special occasions. The Newport Beach Public Library has a plethora of books to help you create interesting and attractive arrangements, whether you cut the flowers from your garden or purchase them at the store.

"Decorating with Flowers: Classic and Contemporary Arrangements" by Paula Pryke is a new book written by Britain's acclaimed floral designer. The author considers flower arranging to be a form of interior decoration or stage setting, and her designs are the key to beautifying the home, creating interior moods, and setting the tone for entertaining, parties and memorable events throughout the year. Included are her signature clean, contemporary designs as well as romantic, old-fashioned bouquets with a modern sense of color and form.

Eileen W. Johnson's "The Art of Flower Arranging: Learning from the Master Florists at FlowerSchool New York" teaches you to create breathtaking bouquets. It offers instruction and insight into the art and aesthetic of flower arranging taught by a faculty of world-renowned florists. Discover the tips and techniques for handling and combining flowers and creating hand-tied bouquets, seasonal arrangements, flowers for entertaining, mixing flowers and fashion, and much more.

"Flower Arranging the American way" by Nancy D'Oench is an outstanding work sponsored by the World Assn. of Flower Arrangers to celebrate the upcoming 10th World Flower Show, "This Glorious Earth," scheduled to take place in June in Boston. The 10 chapters group the arrangements by broad categories according to types of plants, containers, size, extraordinary techniques, and the incorporation of natural and found materials. From cover to cover, this delightful work should inspire and capture the imagination of budding floral arrangers everywhere.

Shozo Sato's "ikebana: The Art of Arranging Flowers" explains ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, is more than simply putting flowers in a container. It is a disciplined art form in which the arrangement is a living thing, where nature and humanity are brought together. This book presents a fascinating overview of the history of ikebana to present day, and introduces classic ikebana styles such as rikka, seika and moribana to freestyle. The reader is familiarized with the tools of ikebana and the basic ikebana flower-arranging techniques.

Two other volumes demonstrate specialized areas of flower arranging. In Charles Faudree's "Country French Florals and Interiors," the author introduces Toni Gardner, his personal florist, to create the ultimate accessory for every room — a fresh floral arrangement. Whether using fresh flowers from a florist or a cutting garden, greenery for the mantel, vegetable bouquets for the kitchen, or exquisite mainstay potted flowers, unique combinations of flora and containers can be used to personalize every room of the home.

In Karen Bussen's, "Simple Stunning Wedding Flowers: Practical Ideas and Inspiration for Your Bouquet, Ceremony, and Centerpieces," the author offers advice that's as down-to-Earth as it is aesthetically fresh and inspired. Her guiding principles — that "less is more," and that breathtaking elegance is achievable on any budget — make this a perfect book when thinking about flowers for a wedding or special occasion.

Whether planning an event, using cuttings from your garden or after visiting the local farmers markets, the Newport Beach Public Library has armfuls of books to help you make your flower arrangements fresh and inspiring.

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

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