From alliums to zinnias, The Flower Recipe Book (Artisan Books, 2013) by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo acts as a floral encyclopedia, with complete intros to 50 blooms—from the correct pronunciation of flower names to the spectrum of colors they come in, to what’s in season, when, and details specific to each varietal. The Flower Recipe Book provides information on how to arrange flowers with arrangements that run the gamut of styles and techniques, from elegant and structured to wild and lovely, for occasions big and small. Check out the following excerpt for instructions on how to arrange a hydrangea bouquet.
• 1 stem of hydrangea
• 5 branches of blackberries
• 9 wired and skewered succulents*
• 8 stems of flowering oregano
• 3-foot length of 1-inch ribbon
* How to skewer succulents: Wooden cooking skewers can be used to give heavy-headed succulents longer stems. The simplest method is to cut a succulent from its roots, leaving as long a stem nub as possible, and push a skewer into the bottom of the succulent through the nub, taking care not to push it all the way through the top. To create a more durable “stem,” push floral wire halfway through the stem, just below where the leaves start. Wrap the ends of the wire around the stem and down the length of the skewer. Wrap with floral tape to finish.
1. Hold the stem of hydrangea at the base just below the leaves.
2. Add the branches of blackberry to the grouping in hand, feeding them through the florets of the hydrangea so that the berries sit just above the bottom.
3. Feed the succulents into hydrangea so that the bottoms of the succulents are resting on the florets, clustering them more densely on the left side.
4. Add one stem of flowering oregano to the back left so that it arcs to the left and slightly above the other elements. Scatter the remaining stems of oregano throughout. Then tape the base of the bouquet under the leaves of the hydrangea with floral tape. Finish by trimming the stems and wrapping and tying the ribbon around the base to cover the floral tape.
Excerpted from The Flower Recipe Book by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Paige Green.