Book review: Floriography by Jessica Roux

Book Reviews

I’m starting this new book review section of my blog with a bang in the form of Jessica Roux‘s beautiful book: Floriography.

On a rainy Wednesday, I found my way to the bookstore and almost by magic, I found Floriography a few days before it was announced to come out. I immediately brought it back home. There is something so fascinating about the Victorians and their own fascination with the natural world. It feels like magic to think about all the different hidden meanings they bestowed upon flowers. A bouquet becomes a whole conversation, a lone flower becomes a statement.

Jessica Roux brings this forgotten language of flowers back to the modern days with this richly illustrated guide. The first part of the book is for individual flowers, while the second one covers bouquets. What makes this a unique guide is the beautiful illustrations that accompany each entry.

Roux’s style of illustration is so detailed and delicate. Each plant is highly recognizable while still being in her clear drawing style. The soft and faded colours give this book a rainy day and cozy feeling that is a clear homage to all romantics.

What I really like about this guide is how easily information can be found. Instead of including an alphabetical index of flowers, Roux created an index of meanings. This makes looking for a specific flower to gift so much more easier. In fact, this book was clearly thought out to be used: the size is perfect to make it an everyday desk companion, while also being so beautiful that you’ll want to display it on your coffee table. As I’m doing research on plant folklore this book as already earned its place as a great reference book. Each description is clear and concise and includes information from mythology to explain the meanings of each flower. Roux also includes different combinations of plants to enrich the meaning of each flower. For example, clematis stands for ingenuity and cleverness, but when paired with mistletoe it shows how “your clever problem-solving will overcome challenge.”

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves flowers. It is the perfect reference book for someone who has a flower garden or who loves making bouquets, but also makes for a relaxing read and a great flip-through book to leave around your house.

Floriography, by Jessica Roux, Andrews McMeel Publishing

Agatha’s Journal, Who is Agatha?

Agatha's Journal

En français plus bas 🙂

As I was thinking about the story I wanted to write, I started with the setting: a greenhouse in Sweden. As I knew that the Victorian Era was a moment in history where greenhouses really became fashionable and interesting addition to prestigious houses, I decided to set my story at that time.

I also thought it would be fun to have a woman scientist as my hero. This blog post was a great help. I imagined my main character to be an explorer and a great botanist. I wanted her to have enough knowledge to work in a greenhouse and also to make her an expert which would mean that her astonishment about plants in the mysterious Osen Greenhouses would be quite incredible. She needed to be independent, self-reliant and a hard worker. Agatha was born.

This is Agatha, the main character of my book.

As I decided on writing the story as her journal, I realized that writing simply to a diary would not work for me. I wanted to make it more personal and more interesting. So, I gave Agatha a husband: Johannes. This also gave her a bit more of a life story and made her more realistic in the context of her times. In addition to that, it made writing the diary a lot easier as she was addressing her husband, a real person, and not just a journal.

Up next, from the Brooklyn Sketchbook Project to the storybook.

This blog post is one in a serie I’m writing about my book, Agatha’s Journal.

Check out this page for more information on the book!

Qui est Agatha?

En réfléchissant à l’histoire que je voulais écrire, j’ai commencé par le contexte : une serre en Suède. Comme je savais que l’ère victorienne était un moment de l’histoire où les serres sont devenues vraiment à la mode et un ajout intéressant aux maisons prestigieuses, j’ai décidé de situer mon histoire à cette époque.

J’ai aussi pensé qu’il serait sympa d’avoir une femme scientifique comme héroïne. Cet article de blog m’a été d’une grande aide. J’ai imaginé que mon personnage principal était une exploratrice et une grande botaniste. Je voulais qu’elle ait suffisamment de connaissances pour travailler dans une serre et qu’elle soit aussi une experte, ce qui signifierait que son étonnement au sujet des plantes dans les mystérieuses serres d’Osen serait tout à fait incroyable. Elle devait être indépendante, autonome et travailler dur. Agatha est née.

Voici Agatha, l’héroine de mon livre.

Comme j’ai décidé d’écrire l’histoire comme son journal, je me suis rendue compte qu’écrire simplement dans un journal intime ne marcherait pas pour moi. Je voulais rendre l’histoire plus personnelle et plus intéressante. J’ai donc donné un mari à Agatha : Johannes. Cela a également permis de lui donner un peu plus de relief et de la rendre plus réaliste dans le contexte de son époque. En outre, cela a rendu la rédaction du journal beaucoup plus facile, car elle s’adressait à son mari, une personne réelle, et pas seulement à un journal.

A venir, du projet de Brooklyn au livre d’histoire.

Cet article fait partie de la série consacrée à mon livre: Le Journal d’Agatha

Visitez cette page pour plus d’informations sur le livre!

Agatha’s Journal, The inspiration and the setting

Agatha's Journal

En français plus bas 🙂

I love plants and visiting botanical gardens has always been something I enjoy doing. The minute I started gardening myself, I decided that I wanted my very own greenhouse to house some exotic and rare plants one day. That has yet to happen, but I like to dream about it.

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this article a few years ago, but it has been a great source of inspiration and reverie. I don’t think there is anything more mysterious than an abandoned greenhouse. I like to ask myself questions like why was it abandoned? Who was the owner? What kind of plants were they growing? What happened to these plants? Did some of them escaped and settled into the wild?

Beautiful photograph by Nicola Bertellotti. His website it worth a visit as any picture you’ll find there could be the start of a great story!

After thinking about what kind of story I wanted to write, it became abundantly clear that I needed to set my story in a greenhouse.

As I was brainstorming about the story back in February 2020, I was also planning a trip to Sweden to visit some friends and to celebrate both my boyfriend’s and my birthdays. Well, that did not exactly happen, but I remain quite enthusiastic about visiting Sweden and learning more about this country. There is something incredibly interesting to me about Scandinavia, so I decided to set my greenhouse there. Once that was decided, it became easier to think about characters and names for places and people.

Up next, who is Agatha?

This blog post is one in a serie I’m writing about my book, Agatha’s Journal.

L’inspiration et le lieu de l’histoire

J’aime les plantes et j’ai toujours aimé visiter les jardins botaniques. Dès que j’ai commencé à jardiner moi-même, j’ai décidé que je voulais un jour avoir ma propre serre pour abriter des plantes exotiques et rares. Cela ne s’est pas encore réalisé, mais j’aime y rêver.

Je ne sais pas trop comment je suis tombée sur cet article il y a quelques années, mais il a été une grande source d’inspiration et de rêverie. Je ne pense pas qu’il y ait quelque chose de plus mystérieux qu’une serre abandonnée. J’aime me poser des questions comme : pourquoi a-t-elle été abandonnée ? Qui en était le propriétaire ? Quel genre de plantes y poussaient ? Qu’est-il arrivé à ces plantes ? Certaines d’entre elles se sont-elles échappées pour s’installer dans la nature ?

Cette photo a été prise par Nicola Bertellotti. Allez voir son site web: chaque photo pourrait être le début d’une histoire incroyable!

Après avoir réfléchi au type d’histoire que je voulais écrire, il est apparu très clairement que je devais mettre mon histoire en scène dans une serre.

Alors que je réfléchissais à cette histoire en février 2020, je prévoyais également un voyage en Suède pour rendre visite à des amis et pour célébrer l’anniversaire de mon compagnon et le mien. Eh bien, cela ne s’est pas exactement produit, mais je reste assez enthousiaste à l’idée de visiter la Suède et d’en apprendre plus sur ce pays. Il y a quelque chose d’incroyablement intéressant pour moi en Scandinavie, alors j’ai décidé d’y installer ma serre. Une fois que j’ai pris cette décision, il est devenu plus facile de penser aux personnages et aux noms des lieux et des gens.

A venir, qui est Agatha ?

Cet article fait partie de la série consacrée à mon livre: Le Journal d’Agatha