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A Feast for the Eyes from "The Flower Chef"

Amazon Book Review: The Flower ChefI love having fresh flowers in the house but have zero skill in arranging them, so even a bunch that looks lovely at the store somehow looks worse when I put them into a vase. But in a couple weeks I'm going to wow the family with a beautiful floral centerpiece thanks to my copy of Carly Cylinder's The Flower Chef. I think for a skill like floral arranging, a book is really the way to go--I've watched plenty of DIY T.V. shows where the host makes it look so simple, and then when I try it myself later, it's a hot mess.

Cylinder's book lays out each step in the flower "recipe" and includes icons indicating difficulty and cost levels. She created the recipe below for an arrangement she calls "the alternative" exclusively for the Amazon Book Review (this is the same format she uses throughout the book) and is the one I'm going to put together for Easter. A $10 bouquet of roses and some dianthus (I've seen it often, never knew the name for it) from the grocery store and I'm going to look like a floral genius....

*The Flower Chef is our editors' top pick for the best books of March in Craft, Hobbies, & Home


The_Alternative_FlowerChefRecipe_DEMO_PhotoThe alternative

I'm constantly inspired by couture fashion, and wanted to make something inspired by Betsey Johnson. My goal was to create an arrangement as original as the funky and fearless designer. I was working with some roses that were turning a bit brown around the edges, so instead of trimming the edges of the petals slightly, I accidentally cut off about the top half, and immediately noticed that it resembled a ranunculus! What a happy mistake! I was thrilled when I saw that friends started using it in their home design! I call this technique "Turning a Rose Into a Ranunculus." I figured if I could cut them horizontally, then I could cut them vertically, and created a "fringe" rose. This is a quick, easy, and fun recipe that is also good for kids.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes                     Season: Year Round
Cook Time: 5 Minutes                       Difficulty: 1
Cost: $


8 yellow roses (better if they're open and older)
7 stems dianthus
4-5'' square vase
1 block floral foam


  1. While you soak the floral foam in water, cut the roses and dianthus to about 3'' in length. Remove the foam from water and cut the foam to fit inside the vase. Then cut the top of the foam so that it is level to the top of the vase.
  1. Take the roses, one at a time, and cut the heads horizontally, taking off a ¼- ½ inch depending on the size of the rose. The rose should open up. Blow on the center of the rose to open them more, as needed.
  2. Place the roses and dianthus in a checkered pattern, so that you have three rows of roses, that go 3 roses, then 2 roses, then 3 roses. Then add the dianthus in between the roses, so that there are 2 dianthus, then 3 dianthus, then 2 dianthus. Fill in any gaps with extra dianthus


Care Tip: Dianthus has become a more mainstream flower, found in mixed bouquets and in grocery stores. It will last at least a week, or longer.


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