Flower Arranging Basics

Because this is a crafty website, let’s look at flower arranging basics. Unfortunately, I am not the best flower arranger, which is why I am calling this article ‘flower arranging basics’.

I did a course on it way back in college, but never did particularly well at it, even though I love having fresh flowers in the house arranged haphazardly in vases.

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Flower Arranging Basics

flower arranging basics

The earliest known flower arranging dates back to ancient Egypt. Egyptians were decorating with flowers as early as 2,500 BCE. They regularly placed cut flowers in vases, and highly stylized arrangements were used during burials, for processions, and simply as table decorations.

Flower arranging is a professional art that belongs to the realm of floristry.  The floristry trade includes aspects such as flower care and handling, floral design, flower arranging, and merchandising.

While flower arranging is a lucrative industry these days, you actually don’t need to be a pro to learn about arranging flowers in beautiful and creatively designed patterns.

Let’s look at what you are trying to achieve when you arrange flowers.

The idea is to get a picture of balance and symmetry with your arrangement.

You can achieve this by designing the overall shape which will allow the arrangement to feel formal or informal.

For example, roses packed properly in an oval-shaped container or vase may have a more formal look, while a loose mix of wildflowers and some tall flowers, which feature a sprinkling of flowers that droop down around the sides, may help to create a more informal appearance.

You need to remember that the shape of the flower arrangement enables you to discover the symmetry and balance needed once you’re building the arrangement.

First Choose Your Vase Or Container

First, you need to choose a vase or container that perfectly matches the mood of your arrangement.

A set like the one above can be purchased online and is a useful one to have as you have so many shapes to choose from to match the mood of your arrangement. Click on the picture if you would like more details on the vases.

This pretty vase is great for a formal arrangement.

This cheeky vase is great for home decor.

In the art of flower arranging, the type of container used is vital, because different containers work with different floral arrangements.

In some floral arrangements, a weird-looking or capricious container or vase could work with flowers that are arranged in a hodge-podge of bright colors like I like to do it.

Pure crystal containers, on the other hand, will help to add a more formal setting, especially for wedding roses.

Some architecturally fluid containers may help to add a lot of shape and form to a floral arrangement, while others are merely employed as flower supports, which tend to be disregarded or not seen at all.

Floral Arrangements Don’t Have To Be Too Perfect

While extravagant floral arrangements may be great for formal occasions such as weddings or family reunions, smaller floral arrangements will have a positive effect on an occasion, as they may exude charm, appeal, and beauty. A “perfect” floral arrangement is one that makes you happy, for as long as you like it.

The Four Main Components Of Flower Arranging

According to veteran florists, a standard, mixed flower arrangement design consists of four main components.

These include:

  • Focal Flowers
  • Short Flowers
  • Intermediate Flowers
  • Filler Plants

Focal Flowers:

The focal flowers are the large, tall, and unique ones, which are often used to quickly grab attention within the arrangement.

Intermediate Flowers: 

Intermediate flowers are a bit shorter than the focal flowers or have fewer or smaller flowers that fit your designed color scheme.

Short Flowers:

The short flowers are used to fill any gaps or open spaces left by the taller flowers. These short ones are also used to effectively hide dull-looking stems, and help to solidify the arrangement’s color scheme.

Filler Plants:

The filler plant materials may come as pieces of bark, foliage and grass, and are often used to cover any gaps or open spaces, as well as provide balance to the whole floral arrangement.

Making Your Flower Arrangement Last

Keep your flowers in a cool place. No matter how pretty or unique your flower arrangement is, it will lose its luster and won’t last long if it’s placed in a warm or humid environment for long periods.

Keep your flowers away from direct sunlight, as well as from heaters and heating vents, fireplaces, stoves, and appliances.

However, if you need to keep your flowers in a hot location, frequently change the water, and use cold water or even ice cubes to ensure that the flowers last longer.

When cutting the flowers, never use a dull scissor or cutting knife. Use cutters with sharp edges, to allow water to enter the flower’s stems. A flower’s ragged edge may inhibit the absorption of food and water, and will also make the flowers fade much faster.

Styles Of Flower Arranging

Many countries have their own unique styles of flower arranging.

Among the most popular flower arranging methods include Japan’s Ikebana. Ikebana is a floral design style that’s famous for its simplicity, both in line and in form.

Today, there are many hobbyists worldwide, who often practice flower arranging for personal enjoyment and many prefer ikebana.

The traditional English Garden is also a popular form of floral design and arrangement. Here, the stems are arranged in a radial placement, and also features the widespread use of foliages and seasonal flowers.

flower arranging basics

Combing large blooms and assorted flowers and greenery that all grow together in the same season is the key component of this type of arrangement.

Flower Arranging Basics Recommended Books

Create the flower arrangements of your dreams to keep at home, take to the office, or display on any special occasion using the simple tips and tricks and masterful techniques taught by Executive Director and professor Calvert Crary and the master florists at FlowerSchool New York.

This book is illustrated with hundreds of beautiful color images and helpful line drawings that will enable you to create glorious floral designs with ease and enjoyment.

And of course, there are all the tools that you can purchase online for your convenience that you will need to start creating.

Most importantly, have fun with your flower arranging. Remember that your arrangement doesn’t have to be perfect.

flower arranging basics

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