The author of Vintage Flowers, Vic Brotherson has been a florist for nearly twenty years. She owns a gorgeous shop in Kensal Rise in North London with the lovely name Scarlet and Violet. Since she finished her studies in Fine Art, flowers have been her life and she says she would not change it for the world. Vic worked for many years at Nikky Tibbles' shop, Wild at Heart, in Notting Hill Gate. She opened her own shop in 2006 and has since been featured in magazines like Vogue, Elle Decoration, Country Living and Living Etc. Many of her wedding bouquets have been featured in Wedding Flowers and Brides.
Vintage Flowers is her first book and it is full of inspirational ideas for making romantic and seasonal floral arrangements. The flowers are displayed in quirky vintage containers such as enamel jugs and buckets, perfume bottles, urns, coffee pots, jelly moulds, marmalade pots and lots of floral patterned china jugs. Most of the containers are collected from charity shops, car boot sales and antique markets. Vic gives a list of her favourite haunts at the end of the book.
The photographs are taken in different locations by Catherine Gratwicke, a London based photographer who has worked on two books with the florist Jane Packer. Catherine has a passion for texture and colour which is clearly evident in the book.
Vic uses a lot of flowery descriptions and her chapters are charmingly and delightfully given names such as: Rosy & Random, Blossom & Blousy, Herby & Homey and Blooms & Bonkers. In the different chapters she shows how to make different arrangements according to season, budget and occasion.
Her arrangements are creative, painterly and sophisticated and many of them look as if just picked from the garden. Both small and simply arranged single stems in tiny glass bottles en masse, or they can be textured and blousy in larger arrangements. She shows old fashioned charm with modern aesthetics.
There are two quotes on the cover that I feel describe the book appropriately. One by Nigella Lawson, who says; "Vic Brotherson does beautiful bunches of wild flowers & roses the colour of parchment, tinged with the palest of pinks." The other quote is by Sophie Dahl, who says: "Vic Brotherson is a floral goddess - she knows what she's talking about, & she does it in an irreverent, original & stylish way."
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