It was love at first sight. Something was dragging me to this section of the bookshop that I don't usually pay much attention to. "Vintage Flowers...", enough said, the book had me at "hello." I envisioned romantic floral arrangements of wildflowers and pink roses captured in dreamy nostalgic images... What can be more appealing to a flower and vintage style lover like me? Diving into the book, turning page after page, I was slowly melting...
The author, florist Vic Brotherson, is the owner of one of London's best flower shops, Scarlet & Violet. "I studied Fine Art," she shared at the beginning of the book, "and knowing that I could never make a living out of painting alone, floristry seemed like the perfect job, it felt familiar. Now after 20 years of hard graft, I have started to appreciate all I have gained  along the way and this book is the result of that." There is no surprise that Vic creates exquisite, romantic and artistic flower designs complimented by a variety of vintage colourful containers from jugs, buckets, glass bottles and hand-painted vases to urns, pans, and pots with cracked patina. She knows how to "paint" with flowers and her whimsical, easy (simple in a way) natural displays are a real feast for the eyes and soul. The writing is friendly and I truly enjoyed her nostalgic references to past times and her childhood. "Nowadays', she is convinced, "we have access to a much wider variety of flowers than our predecessors, and yet back then there was a far greater understanding and appreciation of flowers, probably because many of the blooms used would have been grown in the garden of the arranges..."
"Vintage Flowers" is not exactly a coffee table book as it might appear. The author shares original ideas, experiences, tips and instructions, such as, how to make a corsage, how to buy and prepare fresh flowers, how to choose the perfect vase, how to make a wreath, garland, and hand-tied bunch, how to use floral foam and chicken wire...
Feeling utterly inspired by the book and especially by the enchanting luscious photography of Catherine Cratwicke, I have been practicing my flower design skills and flower choices, filling my vintage pitchers and vases with forgotten roses, hydrangeas, and foliage from the woods. 

And, as Christmas is around the corner (I can't believe how fast the year comes to its end), put Vic Brotherson's book on your Christmas list for aesthetic pleasure and year-round inspiration.

(I wasn’t paid to write this review, and all opinions above are totally my own)

"Christmas is a time that demands all of those who celebrate it to become involved in some sort of decoration-from a tree to a table center. Every family has its own tradition: my mum has an amazing collection of choir singers, doves and glittery fruit that have become a family joke. It is no surprise that this has made me go the opposite way, looking to the things that are available to us naturally and evoke a real sense of the season, making and using decorations that will sit happily in the home without taking over. The making of your own decorations is something that I encourage, even if it just involves popping holly berries behind a few pictures and laying some pine on the table."
                                                                                                                                                    ~Vic Brotherson, "Holly & Ivy" chapter 

It has been such a busy month and I am truly sorry for not being able to read and write comments on my favourite blogs.  I promise I will soon find time for that. I hope life is treating you well.