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Herbal Bouquets by Emelie Tolley

Herbal Bouquets

by Emelie Tolley

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0609604384, Hardcover)

Say the word "herbs" and most people think of cooking, but in Herbal Bouquets, author Emilie Tolley and photographer Chris Mead show that herbs and herbal flowers can be used for so much more. They begin with practical advice on selecting and gathering the best plants, offer tips on what plants have particularly nice flowers or foliage, and provide detailed descriptions of eight favorites. In addition to describing the basic attributes of the plants, Tolley offers interesting tidbits about each. The early Romans, for instance, believed that the juice of poppies could ease the pains of love; the roots and bark of the hydrangea plant have been used for centuries as a diuretic; and daylilies were originally cultivated by the Chinese for the delicate flavor they add to food.

The authors offer useful information on how to condition cut flowers to make them last as long as possible, how to dry flowers, how to choose the best container for a bouquet, and how to create stunning arrangements to brighten the home or commemorate special occasions such as weddings and holidays.

While much of what is in the book isn't new or groundbreaking, the authors do offer interesting ways to use herbs and herbal flowers in some unique craft projects. A dried flower bouquet, for instance, can be framed and enjoyed for years to come. A spray made with lavender oil makes a refreshing scent for linens. An exotically sweet rose petal jelly is a delicious spread on bread with butter or cream cheese. And a flower vase made of angelica stems makes an original centerpiece.

Mead's lovely photographs make the book a pleasure to look at, while the information contained within will convince readers that fresh herbs certainly have a place in our homes other than just the kitchen. --Robin Donovan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:03 -0400)

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