The Canadian Flower Arranger


105 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7715-9188-8
DDC 745.92'0971





Photos by Tim Saunders
Reviewed by Frances Emery

Frances Emery is an editor and writer living in Nepean, Ontario.


Although there is no one author of this book, each of those named on the
cover deserves that recognition. First, the full-color photographs are
superb—crisp, clear, beautifully lit portraits of 40 very different
arrangements. The text perfectly complements them, deftly pointing out
the distinctive features of each arrangement.

This is a particularly interesting book for Canadian flower lovers. The
cover states that “the arrangements use native local materials, giving
them a distinctly Canadian look.” I think that does stretch the
definition of “native materials” a bit—poinsettia, kalanchoe,
lotus pods, ginger and banana leaves, if they flourish at all in our
climate, do so only indoors. Nevertheless, most of the arrangements make
good use of plant species that are commonly cultivated in this climate,
or sometimes in the wild. One of the most beautiful—a traditional
massed arrangement in deep rose and blues with white accents—is
composed of very accessible plants, including clematis, columbine, coral
bell, lavender, meadow rue, physotegia, roses, veronica, and euonymous.

The book does not, however, stop at examples. The final 20 pages
include a useful description of “the flower arranger’s garden”; a
good section on “conditioning,” keyed to the many different plants
used throughout the book, and another on “forcing”; a practical list
of tools; an explanation of the elements of design; two glossaries (one
of flower-arranging terms, and another that is botanical); an excellent
bibliography; and, finally, a very comprehensive index.

This magnificent book is truly an example of the whole being greater
that the sum of its parts.


Skinner, Helen., “The Canadian Flower Arranger,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed December 2, 2023,