Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Arts/Entertainment

May 16, 2013

Floral footnotes

Spade and Trowel Club readies Books in Bloom exhibit

Books have always been known to inspire — lifting readers to think, act, perform and even write some more.

But next week, they will give rise to some truly blossoming ideas.

Members of Andover’s Spade and Trowel Garden Club will use the printed word as the catalyst for an array of fresh floral arrangements as they present their annual Books in Bloom exhibit at Memorial Hall Library.

Modeled after Art in Bloom, the annual spring event presented by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Books in Bloom challenges club members to create an arrangement based on the theme, cover design or title of a book or magazine of their choice.

Pretty much anything goes in the annual display — provided that fresh flowers and plant materials make up the bulk of the finished arrangement. Members in the past have tapped children’s books, photo books, spiritual collections as well as classic novels and crime stories for their inspiration.

Nancy Cornell, who has organized the display for the past several years, said the fun rests in thinking outside the box.

“They’re all so different,” she said. “Some are more literal than others. Some are very metaphorical.”

Last year, Cornell opted to interpret “The Book Thief.” The book about a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany had been chosen as Andover’s One Book, One Community program in which residents all join in reading the same work.

“I picked up on the aspects of both the book cover, which was red, white and black colors, and the themes, which were tension, fear and sadness,” Cornell said.

Belva Hopkins was drawn to “Birdsong” last year and delivered an arrangement that featured curling branches representing the rhythm of song and passion of love. She went with “Oliver Twist” for a previous year, and crafted a tall arrangement that supported a large, twisted piece of wood.

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