Introduction to Floral Arrangements
Most flower arrangements are considered either formal or informal in their overall style. Formal flower arrangements are often monotone or just a couple of contrasting colours, tend to have fewer types of plants in them and can have very ornate containers. Informal or casual flower arrangements have a looser symmetry, can have more flowers and colours involved, or simpler – often whimsical – containers for the arrangement.
The plant materials and container selected for a flower arrangement should portray a clear colour scheme.
A monotone flower arrangement has plant materials in shades of a single colour – all the same coloured roses or sometimes flowers that are dark pink, medium pink and light pink.
A complimentary colour scheme for a flower arrangement would have flowers in colours that are opposite on the colour wheel such as blue and orange or green with purple.
A related colour scheme involves combining flowers with colours that are near each other on the colour wheel in the same arrangement such as blue with purple or red with orange.
Different containers work better for different flower arrangements. Some containers are highly architectural adding a great deal of weight and shape to the floral arrangement while others are merely supports for the flowers and tend to not be seen. They can be made from a range of materials, both man-made and natural. Baskets, vases, dishes, bottles, jugs and even jam jars can be used to create displays, containers do not have to be specifically designed for floral work but the ability to contain water.
The other key ingredient for beautiful flower arrangements is of course the flowers! A standard, mixed floral arrangement will have four main components: Focal flowers, intermediate flowers, short flowers and filler plant material.
Focal flowers are usually tall, large or unique flowers to grab your attention. Generally hobbyists would use only a few of these – one to five, depending on the size of your container.
Intermediate flowers are one-third shorter than the focal flowers or have smaller flowers that fit the chosen colour scheme. Use approximately two times the number of these flowers in the arrangement.
Filler flowers are used to edge the container or fill in any gaps left by the taller flowers within the arrangement. These flowers solidify the colour scheme and hide unattractive stems. Use as many of these flowers in the arrangement as necessary to complete the desired shape and balance.
Filler plant materials are often attractive foliage pieces, grasses or even feather and bark and are used to fill in any gaps and provide balance to the arrangement.