Flower Confidential

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Algonquin Books, 2007 - Business & Economics - 306 pages
2 Reviews
We buy more flowers a year than we do Big Macs, spending $6.2 billion annually. We use them to mark our most important events, to express sentiments that might otherwise go unsaid. And we demand perfection. So it’s no surprise that there is a $40 billion global industry devoted to making flowers flawless.

Amy Stewart takes us inside the flower trade—from the hybridizers, who create new varieties in the laboratory, to the growers, who produce flowers by the millions (often in a factory-like setting), to the Dutch auctioneers, who set the bar (and the price), and ultimately to the neighborhood florists orchestrating the mind-boggling demands of Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. There’s the breeder intent on developing the first blue rose; an eccentric horticultural legend who created the world’s most popular lily; a grower of gerberas of every color imaginable; and the equivalent of a Tiffany diamond: the “ Forever Young” rose.

Stewart explores the relevance of flowers in our lives and in our history, and in the process she reveals all that has been gained—and lost—by tinkering with nature.

What people are saying - Write a review

FLOWER CONFIDENTIAL: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An engaging mix of botany, history and commerce highlighted by profiles of flower mavens and close-ups of rare flowers. Stewart, a flower lover and horticultural writer (The Earth Moved, 2003, etc ... Read full review

A expose of the floral industry

User Review  - I am a gardener too - Borders

Amy Stewart's investigation of the floral industry left me with a new view of that bouquet of flowers in the grocery store. Her world wide tour takes you to places you would never have imagined and ... Read full review


The Birds the Bees and a Camel Hair Brush
Engineered to Perfection
Italian Violets and Japanese Chrysanthemums
Acres under Glass
How the Dutch Conquered the World
Flowers on the Equator
The Dutch Auction
Florists Supermarkets and the Next Big Thing
Valentines Day
The Care and Feeding of Cut Flowers
Visiting Markets and Growers
Selected Bibliography

Forbidden Flowers

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About the author (2007)

Amy Stewart is the bestselling author of five books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world. Her essays and commentaries have appeared on NPR, in the New York Times, and in Fine Gardening, where she is a contributing editor. Stewart is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and the American Horticultural Societyrsquo;s 2010 Book Award. She lives in Eureka, California, where she and her husband own an antiquarian bookstore. Find her online at www.amystewart.com and at www.gardenrant.com.

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