Learn From the Best
By Eileen W. Johnson, Floral Designs by Felipe Sastre, Photography by Adrian Mueller
Gibbs Smith, $24.99, 136 pages
Is it your goal to make a beautiful, unique flower arrangement to spruce up the table at your next dinner party? Have you ever wondered what goes into creating stunning floral masterpieces? Tropical Flowers, by Eileen W. Johnson, provides step-by-step instructions on how to style works of art using exotic, exquisite flowers. There is a nice balance between text and photographs, and tips and trivia. Learn about the history behind each flower used as you gain the skills necessary to make a flower display. Floral designer Felipe Sastre of FlowerSchool New York has 20 plus years of experience. He recreates a Dutch still life using only tropical flowers and leaves. Johnson lists the needed materials and explains each step next to the corresponding photo. For several other arrangements, Sastre provides a modern interpretation of orchids, gives a bride a tropical flower lei inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and adorns a luncheon table with tropical treasures such as bamboo stalks, sea grapes and coconuts. Mueller’s photography is stunning. The essence of each arrangement, from the smallest detail, like the veins on a leaf, to a broad view of a themed tablescape, is captured perfectly. Learn how to use elephant ears as placemats and make an orchid ring for a blushing bride. Even if you never actually get around to making an arrangement, the visual adventure is one worth taking.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin