Floret Farm’s Discovering Dahlias: A Guide to Growing and Arranging Magnificent Blooms

Chronicle. Mar. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9781452181752. $24.95. GARDENING
Flower gardener Erin Benzakein returns with her third book, introducing readers to the bright, often flamboyant world of dahlias. In keeping with her now-established method and style, this highly illustrated work guides gardeners from planting to harvest. The instruction will aid readers just beginning to get their hands in the dirt, while pros will particularly value the sections on propagation methods, hybridizing, and harvesting seeds. A collection of floral designs will set readers dreaming of bouquets. While much of Benzakein’s information can be found elsewhere, her visual guides are true standouts. Multipage presentations of dahlias, arranged by size, form, and color, offer a framework to grapple with the wide range of blooms and will be useful to everyone—from those trying to select a few tubers, to those investing in acres of blossoms. The book’s final third is a lavish variety finder, listing 360 favorites culled from the 800-plus varieties in Floret Farm’s fields.
VERDICT Benzakein is a celebrity and best-selling author in the flower farming world, with an upcoming show on Magnolia TV. Her first book, Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden, is an essential title, and her large fan base will clamor for her newest as well.
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