Dahlias grown by Dan Pearson of Dan’s Dahlias in Oakville, WA. Here, they await pick-up from the buyer at the Seattle Wholesale Grower’s Market. Photo: David E. Perry

San Francisco’s Baylor Chapman created this boutonniere with foliage from fuzzy lamb’s ear, forget-me-not blooms and the fruit and leaves of an alpine strawberry. Photo: David E. Perry

We’re swooning over the glorious photos in Debra Prinzing’s new book, The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers (St. Lynn’s Press, 2012), photographed by David Perry. The concept of local, sustainable food is really taking hold across the country. But what about flowers?

Here’s a bit from the book’s introduction:

“Are you drawn to a voluptuous heirloom rose like a bee to honey? Is burying your head in a just-picked garden bouquet and inhaling its perfume a joy-inducing experience? You are not alone. Our love affair with flowers is ancient and visceral.

“But lately something has been missing from everyday flowers — you’ve probably noticed. That clutch of gerbera daisies or tulips from the supermarket may appear picture-perfect, yet it feels disconnected from the less-than-perfect (but incredibly romantic) flowers growing in your own backyard. The mixed bouquet delivered in a happy-face vase by a floral service is pretty enough, but somehow looks unnatural, as if it were produced in a laboratory and not in real garden soil, nurtured by sun and rain. These blooms feel far removed from the fields in which they grew. And they are, in more ways than one. To the many of us who seek that visceral joy of just-picked bouquets to bring into our homes or use for special celebrations — or give as gifts to others — the flower has lost its soul. What happened?”

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