Flower arrangement is an organization of design and color towards creating an ambience using flowers, foliage and other floral accessories. Flower arrangement is not an art to be reserved only for special occasions. A few flowers on the kitchen table can be as important in their own way as a full scale decoration for a big ocassion. Flower arrangements beautify homes and offices alike and are also used as centerpieces for a table. Flower arrangements are made out of fresh cut flowers, dried flowers and artificial flowers as well.
Roses are the most popular flowers used in floral arrangements, closely followed by carnations, gerbera daisies and chrysanthemums. The use of flowers in flower arrangements also depends on the occasion for which they are made and the recipient's likes and dislikes.
Origins of Flower Designing
The Chinese were the first to put water in a container of cut flowers. So, while the Chinese were arranging flowers aesthetically in a container, the rest of the world was braiding garlands, making wreaths and flinging petals.
Japan grasped the vision of combining cut flowers, water and containers from China with such enthusiasm and inspiration that different schools of flower arrangement art emerged with masters who created philosophies and, design principles sprang into existence. The Japanese culture expanded flower arrangement into a meditative practice, which had its roots in beliefs and philosophies. Flower arrangement became an art form that inspired contemplation and transcended decorative and devotional functions.
Different Styles of Flower Arrangements
Broadly, there are three styles of arrangements in the world of floral arrangements. They are:
1) Oriental Flower Arrangements: The emphasis is on the Lines in the floral arrangement.
2) Traditional/Western Flower Arrangements: The emphasis is on the Use of many flowers as a mass in the floral arrangement.
3) Modern Flower Arrangements: There are no rules at all. These floral arrangements are based on the taste of the floral designer. But, it is more close to Oriental than Traditional style of arranging flowers in its inclination towards importance to lines.
Principles of Flower Arrangement
Although the art of floral arrangement encompasses many principles, there are at least six important principles. They are:
Design: It decides the structural pattern of the floral arrangement. It is a visualized plan about the size and shape of the floral arrangement. The design is essentially determined by the location, occasion and the materials available.
Balance: It emphasizes on the use of materials in a floral arrangement which gives stability to the arrangement. The two most important elements of Balance of an arrangement are the form and color of the floral arrangement. Again, balance is of two types viz.,
Symmetrical Balance: The two sides of the floral arrangement have equal amount of materils placed on either side of the floral arrangement.
Asymmetrical Balance: The two sides of the floral arrangement are not equal but still have equal visual weight. Color plays a vital role here. Dark colors give a visual effect of weight and so are used low in the arrangement. So also, lighter colors are more appropriate for the outer and upper portions of the floral arrangements.
Scale: It deals with the proportions of different components of the floral arrangement. It thus emphasises on the use of material used to that of the size of the container holding the floral arrangement.
Rhythm: It emphasizes on directing the viewer's eye along the main line of arrangement so that the whole shape of the composition is properly followed and understood
Emphasis (Focal Point): The central portion of the floral arrangement from where the flowers and foliage of the arrangement appear to be emerging from is known as the focal point of the arrangement. Hence, larger and dark colored flowers are usually used in the focal point of the floral arrangement.
Harmony and Unity: This principle takes care of the appropriate use of flowers for the occasion. It also takes care of the blending of colors of the flowers used in the floral arrangement and that of the container such that they contrast each other.