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Book Review: The 50 Mile Bouquet

The 50 Mile Bouquet
Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers
by Debra Prinzing and David Perry

The 50 Mile Bouquet

144 pages
St. Lynn’s Press, 2012
List price: $17.95

I first became aware of the origins of many (most) of the cut flowers we enjoy here in the United States when reading Amy Stewart’s Flower Confidential. It was a fascinating exposé, and made me aware of some things that I’d not previously given much thought to. I simply enjoyed, when the florist showed up at my door with a bouquet of nearly perfect blooms.

Prinzing and Perry have taken it one step further and challenge us to “think local” when it comes to purchasing fresh flowers. They traveled across the country and spoke with small business owners that are making a go of providing seasonal and sustainable organic flowers via their own storefronts as well as traditional venues, including grocery store floral departments. Through these stories, we are encouraged to look at floral design choices in a different and more responsible way.

I’ve long been a fan of David Perry’s photography and his images in The 50 Mile Bouquet enrich the experience of Prinzing’s expert and engaging narration. The book took four years to come to fruition and for those of us who knew it was in the works, it was worth the wait. They have put the challenge before us, and in such practical ways that now all it takes is for us to put our eco-principles to work. The choice really is ours.

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle- and Los Angeles-based outdoor living expert who writes and lectures on gardens and home design. She has a background in textiles, journalism, landscape design and horticulture. A frequent speaker for botanical garden, horticultural society and flower show audiences, Debra is also a regular radio and television guest.

Debra is a contributing garden editor for Better Homes & Gardens and her feature stories on architecture and design appear regularly in the Los Angeles Times' Home section. She is also a contributing editor to Garden Design magazine and has written for top consumer publications, including Horticulture.

David Perry is an inspirational photographer, a willing teacher and a captivating storyteller who brings the unique insights and skills garnered in his thirty plus years of worldwide, on-location photo assignments for major corporations, ad agencies, magazines and book publishers to each new project he encounters.

As the inquisitive son of a zoologist, David began documenting his impressions of the living world around him with cameras at a very early age. His very popular A Photographer's Garden Blog, which he began publishing in January, 2007, brings thousands of readers together each week through garden tours, thoughtful essays, and seasonal imagery.

Read more garden book reviews.

Read Kylee Baumle’s blog, Our Little Acre.