Flower arrangement is an art which appeals directly to human instincts of beauty and organization, colour and form. It provides a connection with nature and is a soothing activity for the soul.
Floral arrangement is easy to learn yet difficult to master. Anyone can put flowers in a vase, but to become a true artist, or to begin to make a paid hobby or career, it helps to understand the fundamentals that make an arrangement spectacular.
The Fundamentals Of Flower Arrangement
A floral designer utilizes colours, shapes, forms, textures and scale to create a visually appealing and sometimes evocative arrangement to suit a particular environment or occasion. In order to achieve this, they work closely with certain concepts:
Colour is perhaps the most important aspect of flower arrangement. Beginner’s can start with white flowers, a neutral yet pleasing foundation. Uniform arrangements are another great option. They utilize different flowers and/or shades of the same colour.
Complimentary colours also work well. Examples include white with pinks and purples, or reds and oranges with touches of green. Another effective method for arrangement is to use a single type of flower, such as tulips, in a number of different colours. Study this interactive colour wheel to learn more about complimentary colours.
Once you have chosen your flowers and colours, it’s time to prepare the plants for arrangement. Trimming off leaves, branches, and long stems helps the plant to absorb water and direct energy towards the flower-head. This results in a brighter flower full of vitality. You should also remove unwanted leaves. You can always add foliage to compensate if desired.
Generally speaking, a straight cylinder vase works well for flowers with long and delicate stems, whereas a ‘fish-bowl’ vase works better for flexible stemmed plants and flowers with large heads. Feel free to use your imagination when choosing alternatives to classic vases. Teacups, candle holders and champagne bottles all make for great vases, and add an atmospheric touch to your arrangement. When you have your container, stand your flowers against the vase and cut the stems so that your arrangement will stand neatly at around 1/3 or 2/3 taller than the container.
There are many different possible ways to arrange your flowers, but one effective way is to choose your largest or most stunning flower as a centrepiece and work around it in a spiral. Add your other flowers slightly below the centrepiece, and arrange them evenly in a circular fashion. Odd numbers of each flower gives a more organic feel. As your floral arrangement skills grow and improve, you will start to develop your own styles and finishes.
Once your flowers and neatly and attractively arranged in your container, it’s time to add the finishing touches to your design. You can use candles and ribbons for decoration, incense for extra scent, and appropriate seasonal textures such as pinecones, long grasses and fruits.
How To Make A Flower Arrangement
The following is a simple step-by-step guide to flower arrangement. It won’t tell you how to be an expert, but it will tell you everything you need to start practising today.
- Gather and prepare all of your flowers according to your colour scheme and season/theme.
- Prepare the flowers by trimming off stalks and leaves.
- Add largest and more dominant flowers first, and arrange them in your container.
- Gradually layer different types of flowers one variety at a time in order of size and number of flowers that you will include. Remember to work with odd numbers.
- Add the trimmings to your arrangement, including foliage and extra decorations.
- Place your arrangement on the table or location where it will stand.
There are many areas and techniques for floral arrangement that haven’t been covered here, taking a professional face-to-face floristry course can help you to take your hobby or business to the next level, learning valuable skills and approaches that will bring out the true artist in you.
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