The Little Flower Recipe Book by Jill Rizzo

I’ve always been a fan of small bouquets. I have a pretty large flower garden and have the luxury of growing a lot of flowers that become large, dramatic displays – tulips, peonies, dahlias, lilies. But I have a great appreciation and love for tiny bouquets. And now there is a book that shares my love of these small delights – The Little Flower Recipe Book by Jill Rizzo.

Filled with 148 tiny arrangements that range from small to tiny to micro-mini, this book takes you through the seasons with suggestions for combining and creating delightful little bouquets. Half the fun is finding tiny containers – not just traditional vases in miniature, but unexpected things you may have already like a tiny teacup or jar.

So why go to all the trouble of making these tiny bouquets? Lots of reasons! They bring attention to often overlooked flowers that, when brought inside and up-close, reveal to be just as complex and interesting as showier flowers. Subtle color shades, markings and fragrance are easier to see and enjoy.  Also, I can guarantee that you’re not likely to find bouquets of pansies or nasturtiums or any other of these small flowers at the local florist!

More reasons to create small bouquets is that they can fit into small nooks and crannies, on a bedside table or next to the bathroom sink making them an easy way to fill your home with flowers. And well, there’s just something about miniatures that simply delights!

It’s Here!

It may not always feel like it yet, but spring officially arrives at 12:32pm on March 20th. Time to start planning your garden!

With all the emphasis on organic, local foods, back-yard gardens have become all the rage – even the White House has a vegetable garden! There’s a big crop of new titles, whether you’re new to gardening or would just like to pick up a few tips.

One Magic Square: the Easy, Organic Way to Grow Your Own Food on a 3-Foot Square by Lolo Houbein. This book specializes in getting the most out of the smallest plots – best varieties, space-saving tips and sustainable practices. Multiple examples of Magic Square plots are shown including the Antioxidants Plot, the Curry Plots, and the Summer Stir-Fry Plot. Completely organic.

Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces by Gayla Trail. This beautifully illustrated book gives you lots of basic information, presented in a friendly, no-nonsense style. In addition to the expected vegetables, herbs and edible flowers are also included. A chapter on preserving the harvest ranges from making a ristra and drying tomatoes in the oven to canning and freezing. Completely organic.

Grocery Gardening: Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Food by Jean Ann Van Krevelen. Three things make this garden guide stand out – the inclusion of fruit, the varied and interesting recipes and the nutritional information.  While there is some brief information on planting your own garden, just having access to a Farmer’s Market is all you need. There are also tips on selecting quality produce.

The Small Budget Gardener by Maureen Gilmer. This book has one goal – saving you money – and they mean business. All aspects of gardening are covered, from how to plant trees to aid in energy savings, to recycling found objects into garden treasures. They also discuss the impact of technology on gardening,  listing useful (free) websites, blogs and online newsletters. Sometimes it’s important to spend money – quality tools for instance – and Gilmer shows you what and how to buy. Tightwad tips throughout. Completely organic.