Last week I promised you details of the new books that have been bringing me huge delight. As I told you here, I went into Waterstones and headed for the Interiors/Craft section as usual, and it was there that my eyes were drawn to the word 'Christmas' and 'Flower' ..(no surprise there!) I opened the first one and was transfixed.
Utter, utter gorgeousness. The books have been out for a couple of years and me being a bit behind the times had never heard of them before. There is little text on each page, but what there is describes the setting perfectly. The photographs are stunning - in fact I feel it is quite similar to a blog because of the personal nature of the pictures. It is seasonal, friendly, and very, very English.
“The Flower Shop" by Sally Page is more than just an indulgent and luxurious coffee table book.
Each page is a personal invitation for you to taste every detail, from the momentous to the mundane, of the lives of people who pass through the charming Wiltshire village of Tisbury and stop at "Ted Martin Flowers". The moment you pick up and open Sally's book, you feel like you have opened the door, walked into the shop and have been one of her treasured customers or friends for years.
The quality of the photography is stunning. It makes "Homes & Gardens" or "Gardens Illustrated" look like seed catalogues by comparison.
But this book is more than just a delight to the senses or a feast for the gardener's or flower-lover's eyes. The subject matter is the beauty of life itself - in all its familiar and surprising floral, human and rural forms.
With each chapter you are taken through the seasons of the year one month at a time, savouring the flowers, colours and people from that time of year in all their natural beauty.”
“This exquisitely photographed book takes you on a journey into the English countryside by way of sharing a year in the life of an English country flower shop, set deep in the heart of Wiltshire. Through her beautiful photography Sally captures the flowers and how they are used by people to mark significant moments in their lives, not only births, marriages and deaths, but the 'I bought you these, just because.....'moments too. The accompanying anecdotes in the text enable a glimpse into people's lives and the combination of this and the photography makes you feel part of the world she depicts and, if you're like me, want to be part of it too! There are even tips dotted about the book on how to look after your own flowers. I was given the book as a gift and I can think of no better present for someone who loves England, flowers and is interested in people.”
Amazon book details:Review
A FLORIST who lives in Gillingham has secured a US publishing deal despite being told by mainstream UK publishers that her illustrated book was "too English" and that she was "not famous". Sally Page set up her own publishing company, Fanahan Books, after constant rejections from UK publishers who were unable to see the potential in her book, The Flower Shop. The first print of The Flower Shop was 1,500 and sold out in just a few months, so Sally has ordered a second print run, this time of 8,000 copies. Now Half Full Press in California has agreed to publish and market the book in the USA, along with her latest venture, The Flower Shop Christmas, which was launched this week. They have also asked Sally to undertake a book-signing tour of several US cities. Her books will also be available in UK bookshops after the Manning Partnership, a book sales, marketing and distribution company in Bath, said they would take on the books in the UK and Europe. The books are about an English country flower shop, Ted Martin's of Tisbury, where Sally works part-time. The first book charts a year in the life of the florist and the second takes the form of the 12 days of Christmas and reflects on life in the flower shop at this time of year. Sally said: "It was very hard to take the constant rejection that was involved in seeking a publisher for a book that I so passionately believe in. "I knew it was a good book but I found it very difficult to find someone to agree with me. "So, with my partner, Billy Kelly, we decided to take a major risk and publish the book ourselves. "Our luck changed dramatically when I met Garry Manning of the Manning Partnership, who gave the book to his wife, also Sally, to read. "She really liked it and advised Garry to take on the marketing of the book." For further information about the books, log on to englishflowershop.co.uk. --Dorset Echo
If you have two pennies, spend one on bread and the other on a flower, says a Chinese proverb quoted in the introduction to this book. The bread will sustain life and the flower will give you a reason to live. This book represents Sally Page's choice of how to spend her second penny on a labour of love photographing and writing this record of a year in the life of a small English country flower shop, Ted Martin Flowers in Tisbury. A browse through the pages of this book will introduce you to the world of the flower shop. It allows you to share in the happiness of special occasions, the weddings, birthdays, christenings and so much more. But at times it also touches on the sadness, that at some time, is part of all of our lives.
I just love the Christmas one. Sally seems to have captured the essence of an English Christmas with her photographs.
I haven't yet bought a copy of 'Flower Shops and Friends' but I am hoping to soon when I have earned some more pocket money. Until then I am content to do some seasonal dreaming with the 2 books I have. I am so pleased to have found them and wish Sally every success. She deserves it.