Those of you who pop round here quite often will know that I’ve been banging on about locally grown flowers for a while – on here, in the local press and on Twitter. I’m not a lone voice, of course. There are plenty of us pointing out how many miles those sad looking plastic-enclosed bunches on the garage forecourt have clocked up and doing our bit to help the resurgence of pollinator-friendly, local, seasonal, cut flowers. Quite a few of us ‘meet up’ on Twitter at 8pm on Monday evenings to exchange views, advice, information and ‘chat’ with like-minded individuals.
This week’s hot topic was recommended reading for flower growers, would-be flower growers and flower enthusiasts generally. Ably hosted by Sara Willman (@myflowerpatch) and Sara Davison (@inandoutmygarden), who compiled the following list we covered plenty of ground in an hour. Apparently #britishflowers was a trending topic on Twitter – whatever that means! One of our number, Lou Curley(@wellywoman) revealed that she’d written a book for allotment flower growers which is due out in March. Meanwhile Sara (@inandoutmygarden) has found a field to farm flowers on and takes up her tenancy on March 1st.
The rest of the time was spent informally reviewing books.
Here’s the recommended reading list, just in time to pop a few on my birthday list (or, for those not fortunate enough to be looking forward to birthday cake baked by children, in time for Christmas).
Addison & Hillhouse Treasury of Flower Lore
Linda Beutler Garden to Vase
Judith Blacklock various floristry books
Val Bourne The Natural Gardener
Vic Brotherson Vintage Flowers
Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret Garden (re-live your childhood!)
Lynn Byczynski The Flower Farmer
Louise Curley @wellywoman The Cut Flower Patch (pre order available)
Vanessa Diffenbaugh: The Language of Flowers (nb a novel rather than textbook)
Sybil Emberton Shrub Gardening for Flower Arrangement
James Fenton A garden from Hundred packets of seed
Roy Genders The Polyanthus was mentioned although he has written several flower books
Lane Greer/John M Dole Woody Cut Stems for Growers & Florists (‘foliage bible’)
Dr D G Hessayon The Flower Expert
The Bedside Book of the Garden
Alethea Harampolis (@StudioChoo) The Flower Recipe Book (florist)
Arjen Huese The Cut Flower Grower’s Handbook
Gertrude Jekyll Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden
Christopher Lloyd Garden Flowers from Seed
Nancy J Ondra Grasses
Sally Page The Little Flower Shop books
Alan Peck Buying and Running a Florist Shop
Debra Prinzing Slow Gardening
The 50-mile Bouquet
Paula Pryke Flowers Everyday
Sarah Raven The Cutting Garden,
The Bold & Brilliant Garden,
Grow Your Own Cut Flowers
Francis Rose The Wildflower Key
Richard Sudell ed. The New Illustrated Gardening Encyclopaedia (1948 edn)
Rosemary Verey The Flower Arranger’s Garden
Anne Wareham The Bad Tempered Gardener
Vita Sackville West all her garden writing is worth reading
Wildflowers of Britain and Ireland (No authors given. Amazon list two books with this title)
Flower Fairies books & Brambly Hedge (for the young at heart!)
Not so useful…
S Davies Design, Grow, Sell
The British flower growing season is drawing to a close and many of us are putting our plots to rights for next year. Bulb planting goes on apace and the dahlias continue to hang on until the first frosts, when we’ll either dig them up and store over Winter or mulch thickly and leave them in the ground.
When all the work is done we’ll have plenty to keep us entertained in front of the fire.
PS I’ve since discovered ‘The Language of Flowers’ a miscellany by Mandy Kirkby.
PPS. Thanks to Michele @vegplotting for the supplying the name of the author of The Wildflower Key.