Choosing Your Floral Style
You’ve selected your vase or container, secured the Oasis® or frog, purchased and gathered flowers and greenery, and conditioned the plant material. Now you can finally start arranging!
There were distinct periods of floral style throughout history—some related to geography and some to dates. A French arrangement might be open and airy, but always graceful. A Georgian design would be dignified and formal, with larger blooms around the base and a tight outline. A Dutch-Flemish design had large flowers near the top of an oval shape. Victorian designs were heavy and wide, with lots of ornament on the vase. Weeping and trailing plants with specific, sentimental or romantic meaning were common in Victorian times. Each era of design provided a distinctive way to express the beauty of flowers.
In the twentieth century traditional and abstract arrangements followed the current art styles of the day, swinging wildly from simple, radial construction to avant-garde assemblages. Modern creative styles are fun to create and view, but tend to be used in practice for commercial and corporate situations, and less in everyday homes and businesses. Traditional mass and line-mass flower arrangements will always be popular, and continue to be the most marketable style for most customers.
The common factor in great floral arrangements through the ages is the careful use of appropriate design principles. Spatial balance, color harmony, proper proportion and scale, interesting voids, depth and form, textural contrast, and rhythm make an arrangement pretty. Study your design as you build it. Try to have some logic and purpose to each flower stem placement. Carefully compose each sprig and stem for aesthetic appeal. If you are new to the concept of design principals, you can find lots of help online. Don’t get bogged down by terminology. Different design disciplines will use unique labels for each design principle. Read and research to find the answer to the simple question, “How can I make my design pretty?” The best designs are created when you let your mind invent new ideas. Never feel obligated to follow a specific design style or rule. Design principles are tools, not rules.