June 12, 2008
book review: living color by paula pryke
Paula Pryke is a color genius. In my mind, she is one of the world's great floral designers not only for this fact, but also because she seems to be a one-woman dynamo. She runs a bevy of shops, teaches classes, writes books, consistently comes up with floral designs that knock my socks off, and... oh, travels the world promoting her brand by giving lectures and workshops. Wow, what kind of vitamins does she take, and where do I get some?
I've used a couple of her books in my floral practice for years. I turn time and again to Living Color for inspiration, color combinations, and during wedding consultations to get an idea from brides about what they like. I think in terms of color, and this book is divided along those lines, providing detailed lists (with common and Latin names) of the flowers available. Since Pryke is based in the UK, there are some exotic species that don't make an appearance State-side, but hey, that makes it all the more interesting. The amount of information packed into each page is great, there's even a color chart at the back listing flowers in that shade.
I have other floral design books that sit on the shelf collecting dust after I flip through a few times, but I'd say Living Color has retained it's relevance, and even become the book I look to most for inspiration.