How to Arrange Flowers Tips

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What are the materials used in a flower arrangement?

Know Your Materials

Making a fresh flower arrangement may not be simple but it's a lot more digestible if you understand the materials that you're dealing with. The basic materials in a flower arrangement are divided into four categories which are line, dominant, secondary, and filler materials. If this means nothing to you, help yourself to a better understanding by noting the guide below:

  • Line materials: are used to set the general line direction of the arrangement. These materials generally include foliage, twigs, and tiny flowers. These should be the first materials placed in the arrangement.
  • Dominant materials: these are the biggest materials in the entire arrangement and should be placed right after the line materials.
  • Secondary materials: these are slightly smaller than the dominant materials and are used to help achieve shape and add to the form of the overall design. These should be placed after the dominant materials.
  • Filler materials: generally consist of foliage or small flowers. These are used to fill up any extra spaces in the arrangement and should be the last material placed.

What are some of the guidelines to flower arranging?

Understanding Flower Arranging

If you're ready to dive into the waters of fresh flower arranging, it's important that you understand the placement guidelines. You can't just stick flowers wherever you'd like, there is an art to placing the materials. Here are some rules to adhere to:

  • The largest and darkest flowers are usually placed close to the base of the design.
  • The smallest and lightest flowers are generally placed at the outer edges of the arrangements.
  • In symmetrical arrangements, flowers should be spaced evenly throughout the arrangement.
  • In asymmetrical arrangements the materials should be placed in a way that visual weight is distributed evenly throughout the display.

How tall should the flowers be compared to the size of the vase?

Guide to Flower Height in Arrangements

The general rule of thumb when placing flowers in a vase (or other container) is to let the vase take up 1/3 of the total height of the arrangement. For example, if you were needing a 12 inch arrangement, your vase should be four inches tall. Your flowers would make up the additional eight inches of the arrangement.

What is scale and proportion in flower arranging?

Mind Your Proportion and Scale When Arranging Flowers

Proportion and scale are two crucial elements of flower arranging. These elements ensure that an arrangement will fit in a setting properly. In order to achieve proportion, the size and quantity of the materials in a display should make sense in relation to the container in which they are placed. In order to achieve good scale, an arrangement must make sense in its location (it shouldn't be too large or small for the area where it is placed.

* In order to achieve proportion and scale, relate the quality and size of the arrangement to its vase or container and relate the arrangement as a whole to its setting.

How can I achieve harmony and contrast when flower arranging?

Use Harmony and Contrast When Arranging Flowers

If you're wondering how to arrange flowers, a great place to start is by understanding harmony and contrast. These two elements are used together to create unity within an arrangement as well as to help it work with its surroundings. The two work as follows:

  • Harmony: is when the arrangement compliments its surroundings by being similar in a way that makes it seem to belong. This is achieved when elements of the surroundings exist within the arrangement (like similar colors or textures).
  • Contrast: is created when the arrangement uses elements that are different enough from the surroundings that it won't blend in completely—it needs to stand out to be noticed.

What should I put a flower arrangement in?

Contain Those Flowers With Style

Before you start deciding how to arrange a flower bouquet exactly the way you want it you will need to figure out what you're going to put those flowers in. Containers are an integral part of flower arranging and can make or break the entire arrangement. When picking something to put your flowers in, consider line direction, color, texture, and arrangement size. Overall, the container needs to compliment both the arrangement and the surrounding in which it will be placed. As you probably know, vases are the most popular containers used to hold arrangements. Don't limit yourself, however, this is the time to allow your creativity to shine through. Here are some great ideas:

  • Country containers: terra cotta pots, baskets, watering cans, and clay pitchers.
  • Contemporary containers: simple shapes with even lines and minimal details.
  • Traditional containers: elegant containers made of traditional materials like silver and porcelain (tea pots and candy dishes).

What should I think about when making a floral arrangement?

Ensure That Your Arrangement is Appropriate for its Surroundings

When creating a fresh flower arrangement, it's essential that you think about a lot of things in order to ensure that it goes with its surroundings. Here are some questions to ask yourself before arranging:

  • Which room will the arrangement be placed in? Make sure that the arrangement makes sense in the room you place it in—you wouldn't want to place a fancy arrangement fit for a formal dining room in a kitchen or the bathroom.
  • What is the color scheme in the room and what is the rest of the décor in the room like? Make sure that the colors in the arrangement blend with the colors in the room and that the décor is consistent. For example, if the room is decorated in a Victorian style, you wouldn't want bright flowers in a sleek, modern vase.
  • Will the arrangement be a centerpiece or will it be off to the side? If the arrangement will be used as a centerpiece, it is important that it is full enough to make an adequate centerpiece but not so tall that people have to strain to see over or around it.

How can I achieve balance when arranging flowers?

Achieve Balance

In flower arranging it is important that the finished product is positioned and secured correctly in its container. By achieving this you achieve “balance” which is an essential element in the flower arranging process. Visible balance is what makes the entire arrangement pleasing to the eye. The two main types of balance are called “symmetrical balance” and “asymmetrical balance” and both are defined below:

  • Symmetrical balance: is when flowers placed in a container can be split exactly down the middle and both sides are so much alike that they appear almost as reflections of one another. This is achieved by placing the same flowers on both sides in the same pattern.
  • Asymmetrical balance: is when flowers placed in a container and split down the middle do not appear as reflections of one another. Even though they appear different, however, they have the same visual weight.

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Jolyn Wells-Moran