“Cultivated”, by Christin Geall, is everything it’s back cover says it is but a whole lot more! It begins with Christin’s unpacking of how to find flowers and growing them. She shares her materials and equipment and vessel choices. With the basics covered, Christin moves onto the creativity side of flowers breaking down the mechanics, colours, form, rhythm and repetition. She unpacks the key historical movements that have influenced floral artistry and how to photograph your work.

In each chapter, Christin includes stunning examples of her work to highlight each element she discusses. Every topic is covered in a down-to-earth manner with flourishes of humour.

“Suffice it to say, floral foam is to contemporary floristry what asbestos is to home building—dated and dangerous.”

Whilst being intellectually challenging, it is also hard to put down! I enjoyed it from the first page to the last. I’m not sure I’ll ever be creating floral art in. Christin’s league, but I’m definitely inspired to try!

“Floral design, at its most basic, is the pulling together of parts into a unified whole. Composers orchestrate a score and decide what and how many instruments are needed, while florists might budget a set amount of focal flowers, foliage, and trailing plants per vase.”

“Cultivated” surprised me from the start, captivated me with the amazing floral artworks between it’s covered and taught me more than I thought could be learnt about flowers and the display of them! If this area piques your interest, this is one to be read! It’s a five out of five on the enJOYment scale and highly recommended.

From the back cover:

Cultivated: The Elements of Floral Style elevates floral design to fine art in this richly informative work on the principles of floral style. A charming and intelligent mentor, Christin Geall emboldens designers, gardeners, and entrepreneurs to think differently and deeply about their work with flowers as she draws upon the fine arts and historical sources, exploring Baroque music, the paintings of the Impressionists, or the work of floral innovators like Gertrude Jekyll and Constance Spry.

Covering all aspects of floral design, including choosing plants to grow and arrange, selecting tools and vessels, balancing color and form, and even photographing and selling arrangements, Cultivated offers universal lessons for all levels of practitioners, budgets, and materials. Geall’s stunning photographs of her own lush designs illustrate techniques for creating brilliant arrangements that spark the imagination.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Princeton Architectural Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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