fbpx

2021 Reading List

Peruse the FLOWER editors’ favorite titles of the year on the topics of gardens, flowers, interior design, and more

Click the arrows (or swipe if on a mobile device) to see all 26 books featured in Flower magazine or on flowermag.com in 2021.

book cover for The Flower Hunter

The Flower Hunter: Seasonal Flowers Inspired by Nature and Gathered from the Garden by Lucy Hunter (Ryland Peters & Small, 2021). Floral and garden designer Lucy Hunter's first book transports us to her North Wales garden and art studio where she creates painterly, seasonal arrangements from her surroundings. Through essays and step-by-step projects, she inspires us to embrace the rhythms of the natural world and find our inner creative voice. See an excerpt from the book.

Cover photo by Lucy Hunter

Humphry Repton: Designing the Landscape Garden by John Phibbs (Rizzoli, 2021), $75
Humphry Repton: Designing the Landscape Garden by John Phibbs (Rizzoli, 2021). Regarded by many as the last great landscape designer of the 18th century, Humphry Repton left his indelible mark on gardens across his homeland of England. This definitive survey explores 15 of his most celebrated landscapes, including his early gardens at Courteenhall and Mulgrave Castle and his more adventurous landscapes at Stanage, Brightling, and Endsleigh. With photography by Joe Cornish, as well as reproductions of key illustrations and plans for gardens from Humphry’s personal “red books,” this volume gives readers an inside look at the intricacies of the designer’s vision and process.
Book cover: The Well-Loved House by Ashley Whittaker (Rizzoli, 2021)

The Well-Loved House by Ashley Whittaker (Rizzoli, 2021). Botanical custom murals, exuberant and quiet floral fabrics, and walls done in aubergine and candy-red lacquer and faux tortoiseshell are just a small sampling of the joy that leaps off the pages of Ashley’s first book. Her love of home is evident throughout, and her pattern prowess is on full display. See our Q&A with Whittaker.

Cover photo by Thomas Loof

book cover for Flower Flash by Lewis Miller (Monacelli Press, 2021)

Flower Flash by Lewis Miller (Monacelli Press, 2021). Everything we’ve ever wanted to know about esteemed New York florist Lewis Miller and his famous Flower Flashes that bring beauty to the urban landscape and joy and comfort to all who pass by them. See our story on Miller's Flower Flashes. 

Cover photo by Irini Arakas Greenbaum

Book cover for The Naturally Beautiful Garden: Designs That Engage with Nature and Wildlife (Rizzoli New York, 2021) by Kathryn Bradley-Hole
The Naturally Beautiful Garden: Designs That Engage With Nature and Wildlife by Kathryn Bradley-Hole (Rizzoli New York, 2021). Featuring more than 30 inspirational gardens ranging from public spaces to cottage gardens and intimate city courtyards, this book also speaks to topics such as incorporating seeds, fruit, and grasses, and the challenges of various climates. See Flower's book review.
book cover for Design Remix: A New Spin on Traditional Rooms by Corey Damen Jenkins (Rizzoli New York, 2021)
Design Remix: A New Spin on Traditional Rooms by Corey Damen Jenkins (Rizzoli New York, 2021). "Paging through Corey Damen Jenkins' Design Remix is like listening to a great playlist, with rooms standing in for songs—some chill, some romantic, some that make you want to stand on the table and dance," writes Flower's Kirk Reed Forrester in her feature on the design star. See the full story. 
book cover for Flowers by Design: Creating Arrangements for Your Space by Ingrid Carozzi (Abrams Books, 2021)
Flowers by Design: Creating Arrangements for Your Space by Ingrid Carozzi (Abrams, 2021). In her follow-up to Handpicked, the sought-after New York floral designer offers tips, techniques, and flower recipes to create arrangements tailored to your home interiors. (One of Ingrid's arrangements from the new book is featured in Flower's  Guide to Floral Foam Alternatives.)

Cover photo by Dana Gallagher
Seasons at Highclere: Gardening, Growing, and Cooking Through the Year at the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon (Rizzoli, 2021), $40

Seasons at Highclere: Gardening, Growing, and Cooking Through the Year at the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon (Rizzoli, 2021). Best known as the setting for the historical drama Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle is the epitome of an English country manor. This book, written by Lady Fiona Carnarvon, who currently resides in and runs the estate, offers insights into how the seasons govern daily life. In addition to detailing activities and gardening responsibilities, the countess, a consummate hostess, shares her tips and menus for seasonal entertaining.

book cover: Pagodas & Dragons Aldous Bertram (Vendome 2021)

Dragons & Pagodas: A Celebration of Chinoiserie by Aldous Bertram (Vendome, 2021). Artist, illustrator, and interior designer Aldous Bertram takes us on a whirlwind tour that explores the beauty of chinoiserie through the porcelain, color, pattern, flora, fauna, people, architecture, and tropical exoticism. His passion for the style is evident on every page, from the extravagant to the charming. A true visual feast, the book is accompanied by Aldous’s chinoiserie-inspired watercolors and collages.

Watercolor by Aldous Bertram

book cover for CHARLOTTE MOSS FLOWERS
Charlotte Moss Flowers by Charlotte Moss (Rizzoli New York, 2021). In her 11th book, the interior designer reminisces about her lifelong fascination with flowers and their transformational power. See an excerpt.
The Garden Book by Phaidon Editors, Toby Musgrave, and Tim Richardson (Phaidon, 2021), $60
The Garden Book by Phaidon Editors, Toby Musgrave, and Tim Richardson (Phaidon, 2021). Originally published in 2000,  this revised edition includes over 150 new and updated entries. The book is a veritable who’s who of the world’s finest garden makers, planters, and horticulturists, along with their signature works.
book cover: Dior in Roses (Rizzoli, 2021)

Dior and Roses by Éric Pujalet-Plàa, Vincent Leret, and Brigitte Richart (Rizzoli, 2021). Couturier Christian Dior loved flowers, and perhaps the rose most of all, as this book showcases so meaningfully. The House’s fashions, fragrances, and beauty line pay tribute to the bloom. His sister Catherine Dior inspired his first scent, Miss Dior, in homage to their shared passion for flowers and gardens. Each subsequent shepherd of the iconic brand has kept the designer’s legacy in roses alive and thriving.

book cover: Collected Interiors: Rooms That Tell a Story by Philip Mitchell (Rizzoli, 2021)

Collected Interiors: Rooms That Tell a Story by Philip Mitchell (Rizzoli, 2021). In his first book, which features nine homes ranging from New York’s Upper East Side to Nova Scotia, Philip’s signature “modern maximalism” is on full display, as is his talent for layering different styles and eras. His passion for engaging art, collections, and gallery walls encourages us to go bold.

Cover photo by Annie Schlechter

A Life in Flowers: Lessons and Affirmations from the Garden by Holly Heider Chapple (BLOOM Imprint, October 2021). Cover photo by Emily Gude

A Life in Flowers: Lessons and Affirmations from the Garden by Holly Heider Chapple (BLOOM Imprint, 2021). One of the floral industry’s leading luminaries shares her story, from her early days tending plants in her family's nursery in the 1970s to a career that has blossomed with the success of her eponymous floral design firm, as well as Hope Flower Farm. Stay tuned for our Q&A with Holly about the book.  

Cover photo by Emily Gude

book cover for Tom Stuart-Smith: Drawn from the Land © 2021 Thames & Hudson Ltd.
Tom Stuart-Smith: Drawn from the Land (Thames & Hudson, 2021). The English landscape designer shares insights and inspirations that have shaped his decades of work. See an excerpt from the book.
book cover for Inviting Interiors by Melanie Turner (Rizzoli New York, 2021)
Inviting Interiors: A Fresh Take on Beautiful Rooms by Melanie Turner (Rizzoli New York, 2021). From transitional to more contemporary, lively to neutral, this volume of interior designer Melanie Turner's work reveals rooms that are nuanced and never dull, even in the more quiet spaces. See Flower's book review.
Book cover: Hill House Living by Paula Sutton
Hill House Living: The Art of Creating a Joyful Life by Paula Sutton (Clarkson Potter, 2021). Through her blog and wildly popular Instagram @hillhousevintage, Paula Sutton has opened a window to her idyllic world in the English countryside—a simpler existence that she and her family embraced after leaving the hustle and bustle of London. Her first book throws the door wide open for those who would like to follow in her footsteps, wherever home may be. In its pages, she shares life lessons, recipes, and ample advice for creating a comfortable, joy-filled home, including tips on thrift and vintage shopping, decorating, and seasonal styling.⁠⁠ See an excerpt from the book.
book cover for The Flower Infused Cocktail by Alyson Brown
The Flower-Infused Cocktail: Flowers, with a Twist by Alyson Brown (Folk, 2021). The founder of the Wild Folk Flower Apothecary, Alyson Brown showcases her mixology skills using botanical ingredients and gives tips on “marvelous mocktails,” building a bar, and the art of the garnish. Try a recipe from the book. 
book cover for Hummelo: A Journey Through a Plantsman’s Life, biography of Piet Oudolf
Hummelo: A Journey Through a Plantman's Life by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury (The Monacelli Press, 2021). For anyone in pursuit of a garden in harmony with nature, a deep dive into the career of world-renowned Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf is in order. This newly expanded paperback edition of the bestselling Hummelo (2015), titled after his own garden in The Netherlands, has been updated to reflect his ever-growing body of work and continued evolution. See Flower’s story on Oudolf.
book cover for Floret Farm’s Discovering Dahlias (Chronicle Books, 2021)
Floret Farm’s Discovering Dahlias by Erin Benzakein (Chronicle Books, 2021). The latest book from Floret in Washington State’s Skagit Valley is chock-full of step-by-step expert advice and captivating images with details for more than 350 dahlia varieties. See Flower's book review.
Vaux-le-Vicomte:  A Private Invitation by Guillaume Picon (Flammarion, 2021), $85

Vaux-le-Vicomte:  A Private Invitation by Guillaume Picon (Flammarion, 2021). Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte’s rich history began in 1641 when infamous French finance minister Nicolas Fouquet, the original owner, worked to create a harmonious relationship between architecture and landscape. To assist him, Nicolas enlisted a number of talented artisans of the time, such as architect Louis Le Vau, painter Charles Le Brun, and garden designer André Le Nôtre. So spectacular were the results that Louis XIV used the gardens as inspiration for Versailles. This book traces the château’s history from the 17th century through the Belle Époque, World War I, and its public opening in 1968.

book cover: Home: A Celebration, edited by Charlotte Moss, in collaboration with No Kid Hungry (Rizzoli New York, 2021)

Home: A Celebration, edited by Charlotte Moss, in collaboration with No Kid Hungry (Rizzoli New York, 2021). “What is home to you?” is the universal question posed by Charlotte Moss to a mélange of luminaries—artists, designers, writers, photographers, actors, and activists. Her inspiration for this project was Edith Wharton’s Book of the Homeless (1916), a successful fundraising effort that aided refugees and children during World War I. A portion of the proceeds from Charlotte’s book will benefit No Kid Hungry. The 125 contributors use a variety of mediums to express their often moving answers. See Flower's Q&A with Charlotte Moss about the book. 

book cover for House Dressing: Interiors for Colorful Living (Monacelli Press, 2021) by Janie Molster

House Dressing: Interiors for Colorful Living (Monacelli Press, 2021). With a fearless love of color and a deft hand at mixing pattern and periods, Richmond designer Janie Molster showcases lush examples of her work and a can-do approach to tackling intimidating design challenges. See our Q&A with Molster.

book cover for A Year at Clove Brook Farm by Christopher Spitzmiller
A Year at Clove Brook Farm by Christopher Spitzmiller (Rizzoli New York, 2021). The multi-talented lamp and ceramics designer Christopher Spitzmiller captures the seasons at his country home in Millbrook, New York. See Flower's book review.
book cover for wild creations by Hilton Carter
Wild Creations: Inspiring Projects to Create Plus Plant Care Tips & Styling Ideas for Your Own Wild Interior by Hilton Carter (CICO Books, 2021). An ideal gift for the houseplant-obsessed and DIY-minded among your circle, this latest volume from houseplant guru Hilton Carter features how-to projects that integrate living plants into decor. See an excerpt from the book.
Victoria Hagan: Live Now by Victoria Hagan (Rizzoli, 2021), $55
Victoria Hagan: Live Now by Victoria Hagan (Rizzoli, 2021). Acclaimed interior designer Victoria Hagan wrote this book after, like all of us, spending a year at home during the pandemic. She began to see her life and space with new eyes. The result is this life-affirming look at the nature of home and how it connects, comforts, and nourishes us.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are affiliate or sponsor links, meaning, at no cost to you, Flower may earn a commission when you click through and make a purchase.