Have you seen Paula Pryke’s book ‘Floristry now’? In it she shares the influences that have shaped her work and passes on practical advice including step-by-step projects. If you’re thinking of adding a flower arranging book to your wishlist, it’s certainly one I’d recommend.
I’ve been buying Paula’s books for the last 20 years and they never disappoint. For me the key characteristic of Paula’s style can be summed up through her exciting use of colour in her arrangements.
‘Floristry now’ is divided into five chapters:
- interpreting design;
- creating a style;
- thinking about colour; and
- working with flowers.
Starting with where she finds her inspiration Paula talks about how she’s inspired by nature - thinking about the use of single colours and the seasons. From there she moves onto how art and design influences her work from the Dutch Old Masters through to Van Gogh’s sunflowers - for advice on how to arrange sunflowers take a look at this blog post of mine - before moving on to trends and the role that Pinterest has to play on how we’re inspired today.
I was particularly drawn to Paula’s blue echinops door wreath – so reminiscent of a mass of woodland bluebells. The image of casually styled gerbera in their spirograph-patterned vase bought back happy memories for me of a childhood spent creatively swirling my pens across sheets of any kind of paper I could lay my hands on!
The section on interpreting design is my favourite part of Paula’s book. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of ‘reading’ the way flower arrangements have been created. The key to this is understanding the principles and elements of design - which, as Paula explains - includes shape, texture, scale.
Creating a style
Do you have a signature style when arranging your flowers - or do you adapt it depending on your occasion and what flowers you’re drawn to.
Are you wild, garden, classic or structured?
This section of ‘Floristry now’ is a real page turner. You can soak up the beautiful photographs, while deciding which style of arrangement you’re drawn to.
Thinking about colour
Taking you through white, pink, yellow, blue, red to burgundy and peach to brown this chapter is a really useful colour/flower reference guide. Having fresh flowers at home means you can really embrace the changing seasons. Your enjoyment can be further enhanced by using a colour palette that speaks volumes in terms of its colour intensity – think spring pastels and autumn brights.
Working with flowers
Paula explains that when she’s working with flowers she thinks about the key flowers – she calls them her muse flowers – which will inspire a new design or colour scheme. It’s a great starting point to choosing your own flowers. What are you drawn to first when you visit your High Street florist? And from there what other flowers would you add? Perhaps you’ll pick something on trend at the moment – like succulent and air plants, stick with your flower shop favourites of lilies and chrysanthemums, or weave in some garden favourites.
Why am I recommending Floristry now?
I started this post by saying I’d bought many of Paula’s books over the years. Too be honest I wasn’t sure what else she’d be able to offer with 'Floristry now'. However. it’s one of those books you can read from cover to cover – or flick through the beautiful pictures for inspiration as and when you need it. Personally, I find the intensity of Paula’s colours and the heady combinations of the flowers she favours don’t quite match my own taste. However, I’ve come away enthused by what ‘Floristry now’ has to offer – and perhaps I’ll be using more unusual colour combinations in my arrangements in the future.
Like a preview before you buy?
If you'd like a preview of Paula Pryke's latest book take a look a this video of me turning the pages ...
Until next time, happy flowers!
*I'm an Amazon Affiliate - if you buy from the links in this post I get a small commission. It doesn't affect the price you pay.
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