The Cut Flower Sourcebook: Exceptional Perennial and Woody Plants

Slow Flowers Journal’s book maven recommends

The Cut Flower Sourcebook cover
The Cut Flower Sourcebook: Exceptional Perennial and Woody Plants
by Rachel Siegfried
May 23, 2023 | Hardcover | Filbert Press | 256 Pages | $55.00

“I am essentially a plant addict looking for an excuse to buy more plants,” declares Rachel. The florist farmer of Green and Gorgeous is brutally honest and always supportive with her extensive lists and suggestions for “cultivating natural ease.”

Rachel Siegfried, The Cut Flower Sourcebook

The Cut Flower Source Book is chockfull of plant lists and tips, making less work and better choices for flower farmers and artists.

Rachel Siegfried is keenly aware of the climate costs of the mechanized, global floral industry. Fittingly, she has made every effort to lessen her carbon footprint and better the land under and around her at Green and Gorgeous, a flower farm located via a one-hour train ride from London. She points to the value of growing perennials, flowering shrubs, and trees for floral ingredients — winter-hardy woody plants prized for their multitasking virtues. According to Rachel, woody plants and shrubs are dependable and as “backbone” plants, they are well-suited to withstand weather extremes. Moreover, they contribute a wilder and more joyful style to floral arrangements.

Echinacea pallida with swept-back petals and a bold central cone
Echinacea pallida with swept-back petals and a bold central cones as focal flowers (c) Rachel Siegfried

Rachel divides each of the four seasons into three parts – early, mid, and late — as she pays attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle shifts of plants and flowers as they develop. “You are much better able to capture the essential character of a plant when you watch it grow,” she maintains. Yet, all of this still depends on climate and weather, and your soil. Her helpful photos and lists for the 12 “progressive seasons” are welcome planning tools. They are so good I’ve shared those lists with the design team at our botanical garden here in Boise, Idaho. The “pick of the garden” sections include separate lists accompanied by beautiful images that show how the mini-seasons differ.

Golden raspberries, blue grama grass, and Anenome japonica (c) Eva Nemeth
A field of Delphiniums
A field of Delphiniums (c) Eva Nemeth

It is important to note, and often not mentioned, that a biodiverse flower farm is a refuge for birds and insects when needed—another good reason for planting shrubs and trees. Even in the artistic world of flowers, it helps to work smarter, not harder.

Reviewer’s note:

Someone asked me recently what makes a book that makes my list, reviews-especially since I am NOT a florist, farmer, or flower farmer. First, the book has to captivate me. It must be clearly and accurately written. I am not above checking facts and recommendations. Yes, I am a total sucker for exquisite photography. It must be easy to understand. Most important: I have to learn something – preferably a lot — from books I review and those I want to share. I’ve been gardening and writing about gardening for a couple of decades, and the only thing I can say for sure: I keep reading because I realize how much I still don’t know!

Mary Ann Newcomer

Scribe-Scout-Speaker A daughter of the American west, with great grandparents who homesteaded in Idaho, I tagged along with my grandmother and grandfather as they gardened in the tiny town of Latah, Washington, just across the Idaho state line. I have developed a fierce passion for all things GARDEN. I grow, scout, and write about gardens. My expertise is in the Intermountain West, but I have written for Rocky Mountain Gardening, Country Gardens, MaryJane’s Farm, Fine Gardening, Leaf Magazine, the American Gardener, and newspapers across the region. I’ve designed public, private, and commercial landscapes, and gardens for flower shows. I love encouraging gardeners to get down and dirty. When not tending to my garden, I volunteer my time weeding or planting or doing garden design work at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise.

Subscribe to SlowFlowers newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

Powered by Robly

Slow Flowers Journal is brought to you by Slow Flowers is an award-winning online directory created to help consumers find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers that supply American grown flowers. Founded in 2014, the site has grown to 850 members across the U.S.


Media Contact:

For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)