Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Cut Flower Handbook: Select, Plant, Grow, and Harvest Gorgeous Blooms


The Cut Flower Handbook is a very well written, layman accessible, well curated guide to selecting, growing, and using cut flowers written by Lisa Mason Ziegler. Due out 27th Feb 2024 from Quarto on their Cool Springs Press imprint, it's a generous 240 pages (hardcover) and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

One of the highlights of this book (and why it's suited for hobbyist/nonprofessional gardeners) is the author's emphasis on non-exotic, less formal flowering plants which will be familiar to many gardeners, and more attainable in general than the orchids, roses, and anthuriums which many associate with typical cut flower arrangements. 

The author is rightly fond of beautiful flowers such as sunflowers, poppies, cornflowers, and even "wildflowers" such as Bupleurum (hound's ear), and rudbeckia. She shows how to succeed with planning, incorporating, and succeeding with a garden area which will produce well over three seasons. The planning and introduction chapters (including a fascinating read on her personal biography as a commercial cut flower supplier) lead to chapters listing good performing species and varieties for both cool season and warm season hardy and tender annuals respectively. There are selections to satisfy even the most uncompromising palate. 

There's a very short resources and links list along with a cross referenced index. The book is maybe not a one-stop-shop for advice for gardening, but it is a fully up to date resource for cut flower gardening, which includes new and classic varieties. It's very well photographed in color throughout the volume. 

Five stars. This would be a superlative selection for public library acquisition, for gardening and allotment groups, for smallholders, and home gardeners. It's impressive that the author originally started with -and succeeded- with a half acre suburban plot of land. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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