Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Flowers, Flowers! by Paula Pryke is a gorgeous book with hundreds of color illustrations of incredible flower arrangements, but it is so much more than a "coffee table" book. There is useful information on a multitude of subjects including what flowers are available when, as well as how to mix and match unusual combinations to create your own floral masterpieces. There is a comprehensive gazetteer which acts as a reference guide to over 300 flowers. The book looks at various types of containers used for floral arrangements, treating cut flowers to maximize their longevity and how to use edible items in displays. This is more than a pretty book, I use it often for reference and I think you will come to rely on it as a staple in your library. Flowers, Flowers!, Paula Pryke, ISBN # 0-8478-1679-6
Favorite or New Plant
One of my all time, very favorite cut flowers is Limonium perezii, or sea lavender (sometimes called sea foam statice). It is a perennial plant that requires full sun, very little care and moderate water. You can increase your stock of plants by dividing established clumps, but it also grows well from seed. The blooms are clusters of tiny purple calyx with a white corolla held aloft on sturdy stems. The blooms can be used in fresh or dry flower arrangements. To preserve limonium for use in dry displays, simply spray the blossoms with a firm hold hair spray.