The Art of Flower Arranging
The art of flower arranging has been around for most of human history. The Ancient Egyptians used creative flower arranging in their religious ceremonies, as well as to decorate their homes. Europeans braided wreaths and garlands to wear. The Chinese are credited with being the first to put water in a container of cut flowers in order to preserve them. In the 18th
century, British painter William Hogarth presented his unique “Hogarthian curve” to flower arranging art. There are a number of methods for creative flower arranging, with endless flower arranging designs. Here, we’ll look at two of the most popular methods.
Flower Arranging Designs
One of the oldest and most unique types of flower arranging art is Ikebana. Ikebana is a very minimalistic and disciplined form of Japanese creative flower arranging, which can be traced back to the 6th
century, when Buddhism was introduced to Japan. Although Ikebana does not use an abundance of flora, its flower arranging designs are very complex. There are a number of styles of Ikebana, with the “Upright Style” (Nageire) being the most common. In Nageire, flowers and foliage are placed in a container in their natural forms. The container is considered just as important to the art of flower arranging as the flowers and foliage are, and is typically a bamboo cup or a water pitcher. The Nageire flower arranging designs are positioned to create three points, which are said to represent spiritual elements such as heaven, earth and man, or the sun, moon and earth. In Nageire arrangements, branches are cut to provide support for one another as they rise out of the container, and flower stems are bent to control their placement. Nageire flower arranging designs almost always create the shape of a scalene triangle.The purpose of the arrangement is to bring elements of nature and humanity together to convey a message through design, emphasizing shape, line and form.
Flower Arranging Tips: Traditional Flower Arranging Art
In contrast to Japanese Ikebana, the traditional flower arranging art most of us are accustomed to is more about aesthetics than an overall message. The focus should be on the flowers themselves. In this type of creative flower arranging, the flowers serve three basic purposes: ornamental, foliage, and fillers. The ornamental flowers are the main part of the display. These can be roses, tulips, tiger lilies…opportunities abound. Foliage consists of the stems, leaves, and branches that you may have, and serve as a backdrop for the ornamental flowers. Filler is smaller flowers such as baby’s breath, and is used to fill in any empty spaces in the display.
Here are some flower arranging tips for mastering the art of flower arranging:
- Use what you have around! Cut flowers from your garden or order a selection from your favorite New York City florist shop, and play around with different combinations and designs.
- Before you start creating your arrangement, determine where it is going to be placed. This will help you decide where to position each particular piece.
- Choose a decorative container which enhances the character of your flower arranging design, without distracting from it. Fill the vase ¾ full of warm water.
- When arranging your flowers, start with a single layer of foliage around the edge of the container. Place your ornamental flowers, keeping the arrangement as symmetrical as possible. If your arrangement is going to be displayed against a wall, you’ll want to position the tallest flowers in the back of the design. If your arrangement will be visible from all sides, position the tallest flowers in the center. Work your way out, from tallest to shortest, toward the edge of the container.
- Fill in any gaps that you have with filler. Step back and look at the finished flower arrangement. How does it look? Make any adjustments you need to in order to make the design look even and appealing.
- If the water becomes cloudy, you can clear it up with a few drops of bleach without harming the flowers.
Creative Flower Arranging
The art of flower arranging can be a relaxing and rewarding pastime for many. Experiment with different types of flower arranging art, and join a long legacy of people who have expressed themselves through creative flower arranging designs.