Monday, April 14, 2008

David Hicks- On Flower Arranging




Some of you may not realize that David Hicks was not just an accomplished decorator; he was in fact a keen gardener too. Hicks was an authority on many matters pertaining to design and decoration (perhaps at times a self-proclaimed authority?), so it's no surprise that Hicks had strong opinions on flower arranging. In fact, he wrote a book on the subject: The David Hicks Book of Flower Arranging.

In the book
, Hicks suggests arranging flowers in a bit of a haphazard way. That way, it keeps the arrangement from looking too hard or forced. In terms of color, Hicks liked to use bright pink and orange flowers in a beige or neutral room. And should you choose to create a dried arrangement, make sure to use a mass of dried flowers rather than a few stems. Just a few tidbits of David Hicks wisdom.

But really, when it comes to flowers, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are a few of the more striking images from the book.










21 comments:

  1. What a beautiful way to start the week! I wanted to say how impressed I am not only with your wonderful blog but with how you find the time to respond to people's posts-this is all so civilized!

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  2. Thank you Beth! I would say that we are all a civilized group... most of the time! ;)

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  3. Thought I owned every Hicks book extant~this one escaped me. Of course, his floral arrangements are enhanced by the famous "tablescapes"~you cannot have one without the other. He also did some marvelous things with dried flowers and leaves, if I recall.
    There was more to David Hicks than geometric carpet
    designs, as this post points out. In fact his greatest legacy was My Kind of Garden~the last of his books, and his finest.

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  4. Toby- I don't have that book, but upon your recommendation I will add it to my book list!

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  5. I am currently reading Sister Parrish's biography/autobiography. Her style of flower arranging seems to be similar to his - I wonder how much he was influenced by Sister.

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  6. Be the Change- I love that book! Sis really had a way with flowers- they were always arranged in a very charming way. Nothing too grand or contrived.

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  7. Note on MY KIND OF GARDEN: don't be put off by the grandiose image on the cover of the American edition
    of the Mogul Garden at the Viceroy's Palace in New Dehli. Hicks was plainly paying homage to his father-in-law's connection to the place.
    The book's real contribution is gardens that have inspired David Hicks, and his own garden created in the last 2 decades of his life. Wonderful stuff.

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  8. Toby- Thank you for noting this!

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  9. What I love is the relative humbleness of the species Hicks used. I'm especially keen on Queen Anne's lace and cow parsley, m'self, and tend to use great big masses of either one in the country all summer long, in huge profligate arrangements.

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  10. Aesthete- I agree. And this is definitely something people should consider, especially with this economy and such. I do love Queen Anne's lace.

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  11. That top image with the elephants has always been my fave :)

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  12. Jacqueline1:34 PM

    To me, the most important point in flower arranging is to get the proportion of vase to flower length right. Once that's done, it's hard to get a bad looking arrangement. I did one this weekend with peach/salmon colored lilies and roses accented with scarlet snapdragon, sort of an odd color combo, but it worked, I think!

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  13. Courtney- I thought of you when I included that image- perhaps it was the elephant?!

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  14. Jacqueline- You're so right about that. And this is why it helps to have many different sized and shaped vases on hand. I love the colors in your arrangement. That sounds terrific!

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  15. "No, no. loose...like they don't care...."
    Walter Abel as Danny Reed in "Holiday Inn."

    Humble flowers, nicely arranged on good tablescapes. Everyday elegance!

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  16. E & E- So true! And funny quote too.

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  17. Love this book & reference it often! I was beginning to think that no one liked it. I bought it online a couple of years ago for basically pennies...totally worth it! It's probably the cheapest of all of his books - glad you profiled it!

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  18. Hey, covergirl - I have always loved that "white" tablescape. I checked this book out of the library once. Was a little tempted to "lose" it.

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  19. Bill- Me too! I got it for next to nothing, but it's worth a lot more.

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  20. Thanks for sharing some pics, I might have to add this to my wishlist too!

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  21. I love these flowers , just so simple , just from the garden but with a certain taste , chic and glamour to arrange them

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