Books are some of my favorite things. I love them. I collect them. I (ugh!) catalog them. And I don’t have enough space for them! As the owner of Rittners Floral School in Boston, one of my pleasures is to collect books for our floral school library (now with over 4,500 volumes. Our Education, Art & and Development Collection has over 500 additional volumes.) This has been a labor of love spanning decades.
I own books that I like, and I own books that I love. I believe that just as each kind of flower brings its own unique contribution to the design table so too most books bring their own unique contribution to our floral school library. Some age better than others. Some contain very useful information. Others are interesting from a historical point of view.
It takes a lot for a book to really impress me. The gorgeous books with beautiful floral art are nice but there are a lot of them. But the other day I acquired a book that blew my socks off! It combined my love of books, flowers, and great photography. This book The Bizarre and Incredible World of Plants is by Wolfgang Stuppy, Rob Kesseler and Madeline Harley. (Firefly Books, Buffalo, NY, 2009).This book is actually a compendium of the best of three earlier books, “Pollen: The Hidden Sexuality of Flowers,” “Seeds: Time Capsules of LIfe” and “Fruit: Edible, Inedible, Incredible.” all of which are also equally magnificent.
This book reminds us how dependent life on earth is on plants and floral products. Plants provide us with so much… They are the source of food (directly or indirectly) the oxygen we breath, many things we take for granted like wood and some medicines, and of course beautiful flowers that we enjoy aesthetically.
This book and those it was based upon, use electron microscopy to explore the sex life of plants. The images are color enhanced and truly incredible. Although the text may be rather detailed for some, the photographs will make you look at flowers and plants in a very different way. It reminds me as a floral designer that the basis of my art form is actually part of the sex life of plants. I believe that any book that can change your world view is something extraordinary. The botanicals presented in this book look like things out of some strange sci-fi movie, and have an alien beauty.
Awesome, spectacular, bizarre, gorgeous, inspirational are just a few words that can be used to describe these unique photographs. But mere words won’t do this book justice. Don’t just read my comments. Look at the book and you will understand what I mean! Better yet, go out and buy a copy for your own library!