A study in living at a slower pace, Anna Potter’s gorgeous coffee table guide The Flower Fix uses floral arrangements to revive interiors and soothe the spirit.
Potter takes an instinctive, organic approach that encourages improvising with flowers that are locally and seasonally available. Instead of viewing arrangements as gifts for specific occasions, flowers turn into art installations that exude rustic elegance. Full-color spreads gather around palettes and large themes, such as “Still Neutrals” and “Meaningful Memories.”
From roses in a bathtub to a floor-to-ceiling Smoke bush to naturescapes that occupy entire corners, not all of these arrangements are meant to be replicated in the typical home. Their unabashed lushness pops in photographs by India Hobson, revealing both thoughtful consideration of a room’s architecture and attributes of the flowers themselves. Some of the more surprising arrangements rely on contrasts—such as an overflowing urn in a plaster factory or mock orange against concrete—that underscore the book’s roots in the fine arts. References to Dutch masters and reflections on beauty and transience—through choice words by painters, poets, and writers, including Wendell Berry and Kandinsky—add depth as well as historical richness. The useful second half features basic skills, tools, tips, and a glossary of flowers.
Potter draws compelling analogies between flower arranging and living. In learning to accept imperfections as part of a larger whole, alongside mistakes, there’s often creative freedom. Bringing the wilderness indoors allows people to take part in a mindful activity. It’s the process, more than the result, that matters.
As an antidote to perfection and homogeneity in a tech- and consumer-driven world, The Flower Fix celebrates a refreshing aesthetic: one that works with materials rather than shaping them into preconceived forms, and one that brings back the pleasures of the still life.
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