The Flower Recipe Book is a new book about flower arranging. The clever twist is that the tutorials are written like cookbook recipes—with lists of ingredients and step-by-step instructions. Here are three simple recipes, if you'd like to see...
Dahlia Recipe (photo above)
Flowers: 10 dahlias, various colors and sizes
Vessels: 6 assorted vintage bottles
1. Determine which stem to place in each bottle depending on height, size of bloom and quantity.
2. Trim and place the three tallest dahlias in the largest bottle.
3. Trim and place the three smallest dahlias in the bottle with the second largest opening.
4. Place one stem in each of the remaining bottles at varied heights.
Calla Lily Recipe
Flowers: 20 to 30 calla lilies
Vessel: Cylindrical vase
1. Choose a cylindrical vase to use as a hidden structure onto which you will affix the stems. Calculate the number of stems you'll need to totally surround the outside of the vase by dividing the circumference of the vase by the average stem width. It is helpful to have extra stems on hand in case of miscalculation.
2. Thoroughly dry each stem. Apply glue to the outside of the vase in a 1-inch vertical strip. Let the glue become tacky, then line up the first few flower stems over the strip of glue. Hold in place until the stems are secure.
3. Continue applying strips of glue and stems, keeping the base of the flowers at the same level (the stems can hang over the bottom). Make sure the stems lie straight and are right next to one another without any gaps. Repeat until you have surrounded the entire vase.
4.Trim the bottom of the stems to line up with the bottom of the vase, allowing the tower to stand on its own. The flowers can stay out of water for several hours but can also be placed on a low tray with a small amount of water to last much longer.
Flowers: 3 bunches of lavender, assorted varieties
Vessels: 3 cups with metallic accents
1. Choose an appropriate cup for each lavender variety, taking into account bunch size and stem length.
2. Begin with the variety that has the tallest stems. Loosely line up the bottom blooms, creating a small bunch in your hand. Trim the stems to a length that is approximately twice the height of the first cup. Place the bunch in the cup.
3. Repeat with the other two lavender varieties, turning the stems so that the heads arc out at interesting angles. Arrange the cups into a pleasing composition.
The Flower Recipe Book has more gorgeous—and more advanced—recipes, as well. It's written by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo from San-Francisco-based floral studio Studio Choo. (It would make a great Mother's Day present, don't you think?)
P.S. Three more ways to arrange supermarket flowers.
(Excerpted with permission from The Flower Recipe Book by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo [Artisan Books]. Copyright ©2013. Photographs by Paige Green)