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Section 1: floral arrangements.

Floral arrangements today are a blending of two diverse styles-the oriental style, or line design, and the European style, or mass design (see Figure 1-1). Often this line-mass blending is referred to as geometric design and is commonly known as Western line design. Some arrangement shapes are dominantly mass and full, while others are more clearly linear with emphasis placed on line and negative space. Either way, floral arrangements, with the exception of some oriental and abstract designs, can be classified into certain geometric shape groups such as triangular, circular, or vertical.



The silhouette of an arrangement is its basic shape. It will be helpful for you to become more aware of the basic shapes of arrangements, which will allow you to expand your design options.

Generally, you will find it simpler to achieve a successful floral arrangement by starting with a definite design shape in mind rather than having no plan (see Figure 1-2). This will enable you to choose a proper container, as well as the type and quantity of flowers and foliages appropriate for a particular shape and style. Imagining the silhouette of your design before you begin construction will also expedite the process of arrangement, allowing you to become more efficient with supplies as well as time.


Factors Influencing Arrangement Shape

Many factors influence the choice of a design shape. First and foremost is the placement or location for the arrangement. A specific location and viewing angle will help dictate what shape and size your arrangement will take and whether the arrangement needs to be all-sided (designed to be seen from all sides) or one-sided (designed with a front, to be viewed from one side). If an arrangement is designed for a coffee table, for instance, it is often long, low, and all-sided. A floral design intended for a fireplace mantle can take on a number of different shapes, all of which are generally one-sided (see Figure 1-3).

The table size and shape on which the floral design will be sitting is also an important factor in determining an arrangement's form. A round table is enhanced with a rounded arrangement. Likewise a rectangular dining room table is an ideal setting for an all-sided, horizontal design. A small bedside table against a wall dictates a smaller arrangement, and often one that is one-sided. However, a bouquet made for the center of a spacious hotel lobby needs to be all-sided and larger in scale, often circular in form (see Figure 1-4).


The level at which the floral arrangement is viewed can also be a factor in determining the shape of an arrangement. For example, a bouquet displayed in a tall container that rests on the floor will certainly have a different shape compared with an arrangement that sits on a ledge at the top of an arched doorway, as shown in Figure 1-5.

The kinds of flowers and foliages you select will also influence your choice of design. Some flowers lend themselves to tall arrangements, while others do not. Your choice of container can also affect the overall design form. A tall vertical container implies a tall vertical design, while a round basket generally suggests a different form, such as a circular floral design.

The occasion and purpose for a bouquet are also factors that often influence the shape a design must take. The formality of an occasion can also be a governing factor for choosing a shape. Symmetrical design is often associated with formal settings, as found in churches, funeral homes, auditoriums, and hotel lobbies (see Figure 1-6). Asymmetrical design, on the other hand, can lend a more casual feeling and is often associated with less formal occasions and settings. Remember that the overall shape of a floral arrangement must be best suited for the occasion.



Basic Shapes of Arrangements

The basic shapes of arrangements illustrated in Figure 1-7 are the most common geometric shapes used in florists' designs. After considering the requirements of a bouquet, choose one of these forms that will best suit the needs for your arrangement and use it as a guideline for setting up the framework for your design. It is important that you visualize a completed floral design before actually arranging so that you will know how to begin construction.

Most floral arrangements can be considered triangular, circular, vertical, or horizontal, based on their geometric form. However, some arrangement shapes, rather than fitting into one shape category, are really a blending of several forms (see Figure 1-8).

Once the basic outline of the arrangement is determined, keep your chosen shape in mind, especially as you set up the framework or basic structure of the design. The framework for a design can be constructed with foliage or flowers, as shown in Figure 1-9. Generally, the first few flowers or stems of foliage that establish the framework are referred to as skeleton flowers or skeleton foliage, because they create the main and essential outline for forming a specified design shape. These first few stems set the geometric limits and establish outer boundaries for a design, including height, width, and depth.

To increase the feeling of depth in one-sided designs, it is important to add a skeleton flower or foliage stem in the front of the arrangement near the rim of the container that angles downward. In order to visually balance this downward positioning, angle the tallest stem slightly backward, as shown in Figure 1-10.

Flowers and foliages may then extend slightly beyond the framework edges or they may stay within. Establishing a simple framework will give a foundation for construction and ease the process of arrangement.

Triangular Designs

The triangle shape is a popular choice for floral arrangements. This form has three distinct sides and three corners, angles, or tips. Triangular floral arrangements are generally referred to as one-sided designs, normally viewed on just one side. However, some of these designs can be arranged to be viewed from all sides and still maintain their triangular shape. Many variations of height, width, and size exist, all of which are either symmetrical (formal) or asymmetrical (informal).

Symmetrical Designs

The symmetrical triangle design is formal, and when divided in half vertically, each side of the shape is a mirror image to the other. Remember that when creating symmetrical triangle designs, it is important to keep the framework a mirror image. The flowers within the triangle, however, do not need to be repeated exactly on both sides. This would make an already formal and rigid bouquet much too stiff and unnatural. The basic symmetrical designs offering a traditional formal look include the equilateral triangle, isosceles triangle, and cone design.





Equilateral Triangle. A triangle that is called equilateral simply means the three sides forming the triangle are all equal in length. These designs are usually one-sided and placed against a wall or in an area where most people will see only one side, such as on a buffet table or at the front of a church.

The equilateral design will generally have three skeleton flowers or foliage stems that create the three points of the triangle. It is important to remember that the three sides of the triangle are equal, not the three stems that form the corners of the triangle. The materials used in forming the base line of the triangle need a combined length approximately the length of the stem forming the top center point of the triangle. This dimension will result in the three sides remaining equal to one another (see Figure 1-11).

Isosceles Triangle. An isosceles triangle is also symmetrical, having two sides equal in length with the third or base side unequal (see Figure 1-12). The most common isosceles floral arrangement has two equal sides that come together to form the height of the arrangement.

These one-sided isosceles designs are a popular choice for flower arrangements because they can be easily created from just a few flowers. Whether small or large in scale, these designs generally appear highly stylized.




One-Sided Symmetrical Triangle--Steps of Construction

Step 1 Secure a piece of soaked floral foam that extends above the lip of the container (see Figure 1-13).

Step 2 Then add three flowers or stems of foliage to establish the framework of height and width. Since these designs are most often one-sided, to make better use of the floral foam, insert the tallest stem centrally in the back portion of the foam block. Insert the flowers or foliage that create the side triangle points into the sides of the foam, toward the back portion of the foam, so their tips angle forward slightly.

Step 3 Next, add mass flowers to fill the body of the design, as illustrated in Figure 1-14. Complete the triangle shape by adding filler flowers and foliages within the framework you have set (see Figure 1-15).

Remember to sufficiently cover the floral foam not only in front but also in back. Even though these one-sided designs will be viewed mostly from the front, the designer may not know if these arrangements will be placed against a mirror or if some people will see the arrangement only from the back side, as with stage pieces (see Figure 1-16). To achieve a more professional and aesthetic appearance, remember to cover the foam, other mechanical aids, and large unsightly stems with foliage.


Cone Designs. The cone-shaped design is typical of the Byzantine period style. It actually is a three-dimensional vertical isosceles triangle. These designs require some type of foam base for mass flower insertion. Often pieces of floral foam are gathered together within chicken wire to form these tight designs or a block of floral foam can be trimmed to make a cone. Manufactured floral foam cones are also available. Cone arrangements are formal and rigid and generally appear the same on all sides.


Cone Designs--Steps of Construction


The most time-consuming part of making a cone design is establishing the foam base foundation (see Figure 1-17). The foam must be thoroughly soaked for fresh arrangements.

Step 1 Secure the foam and chicken wire in the container.

Step 2 Add a thin layer of moss with green pins. The moss will easily hide mechanics, and fewer leaves and flowers will be needed to fill in the cone structure.

Step 3 Add fruits, vegetables, berries, or pine cones if desired. Secure with green pins, wire, or wood picks, depending on the individual shape and weight of the items to be added.

Step 4 Insert short-stemmed flowers and foliage pieces through the moss and into the foam to form a colorful cone design, as shown in Figure 1-18.



Asymmetrical Triangle Designs

The asymmetrical triangle design is informal; when it is divided vertically in half, one side is visually heavier than the other. In order to achieve true balance, something must compensate on the side with less visual weight, such as color, texture, form, or the length or angle of a stem.

Asymmetrical designs offer a unique arrangement form. They appear less contrived and more natural. However, more planning is necessary for these designs to achieve proper balance. Asymmetrical (like symmetrical) triangle arrangements are often one-sided but can be made into all-sided designs with initial framework planning.

These design shapes often rely on the use of a focal point for visual success. Asymmetrical triangle designs have the height of the bouquet shifted to one side, and the width of the triangle extending out on the opposite side. The basic asymmetrical designs are right triangle and scalene triangle.

Right Triangle. A right triangle arrangement is named for the prominent right angle that forms the design. These triangles are generally set in a vertical format with a tall vertical line perpendicular to the base line of the arrangement. The vertical emphasis or height is usually seen on the left side (explaining why these designs are often called L-shape designs), but it can just as easily be established on the right side of a design.



Right-triangle designs can point to the right or left, according to the location selected for displaying them (see Figure 1-19). These designs can also be made in pairs and placed on a mantle or table to frame and give importance to a picture or object in between the two arrangements. The right-triangle pair can also be used in an opposite manner (see Figure 120). This placement will still give importance to a central object, but at the same time it provides direction and length with the horizontal base line extending outward.

Scalene Triangle. A scalene triangle is one that has unequal sides and angles. A floral design that is made in a scalene form generally has vertical emphasis. This visually impressive design style has an apparent obtuse angle, with height on one side. To create the open angle, the base line extends downward on the other side opposite to the height. Because flower and foliage stems angle downward, it is often necessary to use a compote or taller container; if a low container is used, the arrangement should be placed on a mantle or other location where the flowers are allowed to fall freely, preventing blossoms from getting damaged (see Figure 1-21).


One-Sided Asymmetrical Triangle--Steps of Construction

Both the right-triangle and scalene-triangle designs have similar steps of construction. Refer to figures 1-22 and 1-23.

Step 1 Extend the floral foam above the container rim to allow for horizontal or downward positioning of stems.

Step 2 Once the floral foam is secure in the container, the framework may be established with flowers or foliage stems.

Step 3 Insert the tallest flower or foliage stem to one side of the design and toward the back of the foam. This placement allows more foam space for the flowers and foliage that will later be placed within the framework.

Step 4 The base of the triangle is formed by extending a flower or foliage stem from the opposite side of the design. Insert this stem into the side of the foam block, generally toward the back of the container.

Step 5 To soften the tall vertical line and to help balance the horizontal tip of the triangle, insert a short flower or piece of foliage next to the vertical height of the arrangement.

Step 6 Establish a focal point near the rim of the container where tall vertical stems and extended horizontal stems meet. This focal point helps give further balance and stability to the asymmetrical triangular form.

Step 7 Fill in the triangle form with mass flowers and foliage to emphasize the focal area and conceal foam and other mechanics.



Circular Designs

Even though the following arrangements are simply grouped as circular, many diverse styles exist, including symmetrical, asymmetrical, all-sided, and one-sided. Although some circular design styles are more popular than others, it is helpful to know about each and how each may be constructed.

Mass Styles

Designs emphasizing mass with a circular or rounded silhouette are symmetrical and can be made in a variety of sizes and arrangement styles. Most mass designs can be categorized as round, oval, fan, or a topiary ball.

Round Arrangements. The round arrangement shape appears the same on all sides and from all viewing angles. This design form is also called circular, round mound, roundy-moundy, nosegay, and tussie-mussie. Because there is no front or back side to this arrangement, these designs offer more versatility and can be placed in a number of locations (see Figure 1-24).

Arranging flowers and foliages in a circular manner adds an interesting element of repetition that is pleasing and harmonious. However, to avoid the feeling of monotony, use foliage that offers a pleasant contrast to the dominant round flower forms.

If a round or sphere-shaped arrangement is made only one-sided, it usually lacks balance and appears unfinished, as shown in Figure 1-25. When an arrangement must be one-sided, it might be better to select and plan an arrangement shape other than round before beginning construction.

Oval Arrangements. Oval arrangements are symmetrical, yet, unlike round arrangements, they are commonly made in both all-sided and one-sided styles. These designs offer an extension of the round form with the circular shape being generally elongated vertically. All of the flowers and foliages are placed as if to radiate out from a central location similar to round designs, the stem lengths being more varied to form the oval.



Fan-Shaped Designs. A fan-shaped arrangement is sometimes called a radiating design. These designs are one-sided and similar in shape to a fan or half circle. Often line flowers and foliages are used to set up the framework of the design. Stems should appear to radiate from a central location in the design. These designs are symmetrically balanced with a formal, planned appearance. Voids or negative spaces between the linear framework material give importance to the radiating lines in this mass design.

One-Sided Rounded Designs--Steps of Construction

One-sided oval designs and fan-shaped arrangements, though different in shape, share similar steps of construction. Refer to figures 1-26 and 1-27.

Step 1 Secure foam in an appropriate container. Foam should extend above the lip of the container.

Step 2 Establish the framework. Remember to tilt the tallest stems slightly away from the front of the design. Also, angle the front, lower stems downward for an increased appearance of depth.

Step 3 Add line flowers and foliages to emphasize the radiating appearance of the fan-shaped form. Use a variety of flower and foliage forms to avoid monotony in these circular, mass designs.

Step 4 Continue adding flowers and foliages to form the final shape. Add fillers if desired to soften these concise shapes.



All-Sided Circular Designs--Steps of Construction

Before beginning a circular arrangement, it is important to consider both the size and mood needed. Choose a container that will offer the appropriate size and proportion relationship with the finished rounded design.

Step 1 Cut floral foam to fit the container, leaving 1?2 to 1 inch above the rim. Secure foam in the container with an anchor pin or waterproof tape.

Step 2 Often with rounded designs, it is helpful to pregreen (also called collaring) the arrangement with some foliage before flowers are inserted, as shown in Figure 1-28. This step will help define the shape all around and will cover large portions of the foam and other mechanics of construction. Use only enough foliage to establish the width on all sides, placing stems near the rim of the container.

Step 3 Insert a stem of foliage in the center of the block to help establish height. Be sure to allow open spaces in the foam for flower insertion. If too much foliage is used to pregreen an arrangement, it is often difficult to find any space left in the foam for flowers (see Figure 1-29).

Step 4 Establish the height of the arrangement with a small flower or bud.

Step 5 Next, insert flowers near the rim of the container that extend out horizontally or slightly downward to establish the width on all sides.

Step 6 Insert additional mass flowers to fill out the circular format on all sides. All flowers should radiate from the center of the design. It may be helpful to constantly turn your arrangement or place it on a rotating Lazy Susan so that no one side is neglected, and your design ends up symmetrically circular on all sides (see Figure 1-30).

Step 7 Leave some voids or negative space for visual rest. Voids also allow room for insertion of further foliage to soften the design and to conceal any mechanics still visible.

Step 8 Add filler flowers last to help complete the design shape and style.



Topiary Ball Designs. The topiary ball design is a perfectly round sphere. The shape appears the same from any side or viewing angle. Round topiaries are symmetrical and offer a formal decorating idea in a variety of design styles, sizes, and applications.

Topiary Ball--Steps of Construction

The topiary itself is made by inserting flowers and foliage closely together into floral foam.

Step 1 Make the foundation from pieces of foam or sculpture foam and wrap it in chicken wire (see Figure 1-31). Foam spheres and foam holders are manufactured specially for topiary ball construction.

Step 2 Attach the foam ball to a sturdy branch, piece of piping, dowel, or other narrow linear material that is anchored into a heavy pot for use as a centerpiece.

Step 3 After the foundation is secure, cover the ball with a thin layer of moss.

Step 4 Add flowers and foliage stems through the moss and into the foam (see Figure 1-32a).

Step 5 Remember to cover any mechanics, especially in the pot that holds the plaster of Paris or other anchoring material. Mechanics at the base can easily be covered with a thick layer of moss or with an accenting floral arrangement, as shown in Figure 1-32b.




Topiary balls have other floral design applications. For instance, they can easily be hung as a room decoration. A small topiary, often called a floral pomander, may be carried (see Figure 1-33a). Before flowers are inserted, the ribbon or string that the topiary hangs from must be securely anchored into the ball (see Figure 1-33b).


Line Styles

Some circular designs are constructed so that the line of the design, rather than the mass, is emphasized. These arrangements are generally highly stylized one-sided designs, but with initial framework consideration they may be made all-sided.

The curved lines of these designs create a unique and sophisticated appearance and display graceful rhythm, resulting in arrangements that are a pleasure to view. Circular line designs that are named for their curvilinear form are the crescent, or C-shape, and the Hogarth, or S-shape.

Crescent Design. The crescent floral design is a portion of a circle with one concave edge and one convex edge, similar to the visible shape of the moon just before the first quarter or after the last quarter phases. An arrangement requiring skill and experience, the crescent shape is also referred to as C-shape and can be constructed in a variety of sizes, heights, and widths (see Figure 1-34). Because of its asymmetry, the crescent requires a great deal of negative space with a focal point generally near the container rim for visual balance.

Like other asymmetrical designs, crescent arrangements may be used in pairs accenting and giving importance to a picture or object placed between them (see Figure 1-35).

A crescent design is also beautiful when inverted and symmetrical (or asymmetrical), as illustrated in Figure 1-36. In creating inverted crescent designs, select an upright container and flowing stems to create the downward curves at the sides. All-sided, inverted crescents form a graceful, rhythmic centerpiece, although these designs may also be made as one-sided arrangements.


Crescent Designs--Steps of Construction

Choose a container that will be suitable for the type of C-shape arrangement you will be making. An inverted crescent design generally requires a compote or other tall container, allowing the side stems to hang downward gracefully, whereas an upright crescent most often is made in a low container.

Step 1 Secure a piece of floral foam in the container, allowing the foam to extend above the container rim to allow for stem insertions into the sides.

Step 2 Select curving stems to form the C-shape. Some stems are naturally curved, while others are not. With hidden mechanics, however, many stems will form the desired tight or loose curve. As shown in Figure 1-37, Scotch broom will easily curve with some gentle persuasion. Hold the stems and blow hot air directly onto the foliage a number of times. These stems will begin to take on the desired curvilinear form. You may also use wires for curving flower stems, but remember to conceal any wiring mechanics you use.

Step 3 Insert the line foliage first to form the curves that display the "C" (see figures 1-38 and 1-39). Because of the length and curve of these skeleton stems, insert them deep into the foam for extra security.

Step 4 Next add some mass foliage that will blend the curvilinear foliage with the massed area of the design. This step will help establish the inner framework as well as conceal portions of the foam.

Step 5 Insert mass and line flowers next. Taper the flower sizes, placing buds and smaller flowers at the outer perimeters of the design. The flower sizes should gradually get bigger or increase in visual weight toward the center of the design. As stems radiate out from a central area, so should the flower heads to enhance the feeling of rhythm.

Step 6 Establish a focal area where the two side portions meet. This area may be achieved simply by massing flowers closer together. A single form flower will also create a focal point as well as give stability to the design.

Step 7 Add mass flowers and mass foliage to form the crescent shape.

Step 8 Complete the arrangement by adding filler flowers and foliage or accessories that will unify the design and complete the desired shape. The crescent form relies on negative space for visual success. Do not be tempted to add more material than is needed (see Figure 1-40).






Hogarth Curve Designs. Of all the arrangement forms, this design style is the only one that is named for a person rather than a geometric shape. These designs are named for the English artist William Hogarth (1697-1764). Their shape comes from Hogarth's self-portrait titled Portrait of the Painter and His Pug, dated 1745, in which the artist drew a serpentine line on a painter's palette with the words, "The Line of Beauty" under it. Many were puzzled with this phrase and curious about its meaning. In response to questioning, Hogarth theorized that all beauty was based on the serpentine S-line, documenting his beliefs later in The Analysis of Beauty, published in 1753. A two-dimensional S-line he called "The Line of Beauty," whereas a three-dimensional S-line he called "The Line of Grace." Floral arrangements made in this serpentine line truly display the graceful rhythm for which Hogarth is known.

Often called the S-curve style, these floral arrangements display a sophisticated asymmetrical appearance. Because these arrangements have a downward sweeping curve that extends below the container rim, they must be constructed in a compote, or tall vase. The rhythmic line is easiest to achieve with vines, pliable branches, and naturally curving flower stems. These arrangements offer an elegant option, and they are often the choice of design shape for formal gatherings.

The S-shaped arrangement is generally not as popular as other design shapes because it is more difficult to construct, it requires curving stems, it requires a taller and heavier compote or container, often adding to the expense, and it may easily tip over during delivery. However, the graceful, serpentine line has application in many floral designs and floral decorations (see Figure 1-41). Learning the steps for making a Hogarth design will allow you to choose this design more readily for floral arrangements.


Hogarth Curve--Steps of Construction

Step 1 Select an appropriate raised container. Secure a block of floral foam that extends above the rim for horizontal stem insertions. (Refer to Figure 1-42.)

Step 2 Establish the framework with curving linear material. Insert the stem that forms the height into the back portion of the foam on one side. Insert the stem that forms the lower curve of the "S" in the front (opposite to the height of the "S"). Secure these stems deeply into the foam.

Step 3 Similar to the steps of construction for the crescent, next add some mass foliage to soften the curvilinear lines. This step blends lines into the central, massed area of the design and conceals some of the foam and tape.

Step 4 Strengthen the "S" line by adding more linear material.

Step 5 Next, insert mass and line flowers. If a variety of flower sizes is used, place the buds and smaller flowers at the perimeters. Flowers should gradually increase in size so they are largest at the container rim. The visual weight of materials should also become heavier in the central, massed area. All stems should appear to radiate from the center of the design.

Step 6 Create a focal point. For example, mass flowers closer together to create an area of emphasis.

Step 7 Add filler flowers and foliage to finish the design. If desired, add fruits, vegetables, or other accessories to the central area of the arrangement. A cluster of grapes that cascades over the container rim, ombined with other fruits anchored in the foam, offers a classic design typical of the baroque period.


Vertical Design Styles

Standard proportion rules may be easily overlooked when constructing vertical designs. Often height will be emphasized by exaggerating the vertical emphasis, thereby creating a dynamic appearance of strength. A vertical container enhances and strengthens the vertical line in a floral arrangement. These arrangements, with their perpendicular line, are often the choice of design shape when display space is limited or when a strong vertical line needs to be emphasized in a room decoration (see Figure 1-43a).



Bud Vase Arrangements

The simplest vertical design is a bud vase with a single flower or a limited grouping of flowers and foliage. The flowers repeat the shape of the tall slender vase in which they are placed. A bud vase design is generally one-sided, but with initial planning can be made all-sided for use as a simple centerpiece.

Because a bud vase is small in scale compared to other designs, it is usually placed on a small table or in a small room or area. This way the delicate arrangement is not overwhelmed. Placed in a large room or on a large table, a single bud vase is out of scale and tends to disappear. However, bud vase arrangements may be used in groupings for increased visual impact (see Figure 1-43b).

Bud Vase Arrangements--Steps of Construction

Containers used as bud vases are generally tall and narrow. Because the containers are narrow, flowers are easily held in place. Some vases, however, might be too narrow for the number and thickness of the stems intended for a bud vase design. A good "rule of thumb" for selecting a bud vase is this: If you cannot fit your thumb down the neck of the vase, it probably will not be suitable for more than one or two stems of plant material (see Figure 1-44). Forcing flowers into a narrow-necked vase is difficult and frustrating and may crush tender flower stems.

Step 1 Select a suitable vase and fill with tepid water and preservative.

Step 2 Insert the primary flowers to establish height and width. Vary the height and positioning of flowers, as illustrated in Figure 1-45. Keep the number of flowers and the size of the design in scale with the visual and physical weight of the vase.


Step 3 Next add some line and mass foliages to enhance the vertical line as well as to blend the arrangement to the container.

Step 4 If desired, add a bow of ribbon, twine, bear grass, or other material to the arrangement at the container rim, to provide accent and visual balance.

Stylized Vertical Designs

Stylized vertical designs are often constructed in vertical containers with the use of floral foam. These designs are generally one-sided but may be arranged to be viewed on all sides.

At times a vertical arrangement may simply have a vertical line of plant material with no emphasis on width. In order to achieve visual interest and balance, these designs often require a focal point either near the rim of the container or at the upper edges (see Figure 1-46).



Stylized Vertical Designs--Steps of Construction

Although these arrangements may be made in low containers, tall containers emphasize the vertical importance of these designs.

Step 1 Select an appropriate container and secure the floral foam if necessary. The style of design, as well as the type of flowers and foliage needed for a particular vertical design, will dictate whether the foam should extend above the container rim or stay below.

Step 2 Establish the height of your arrangement with a line flower or foliage, as shown in Figure 1-47. Since these designs are most often one-sided, insert the first stem toward the back of the block of foam, allowing more foam space for other stem insertions.

Step 3 Add primary flowers first (before mass foliage is added) because foam space is extremely limited in these designs.

Step 4 To enhance the vertical line of the design, add a stem of ivy or other foliage or flower, that extends down in front. This downward line helps visually blend the container with the arrangement.

Step 5 Next, add other flowers and foliages, keeping the line of the design as vertical as possible.

Step 6 Add mass foliage last to accent the focal point and conceal foam and other mechanics.


Horizontal Design Styles

Horizontal designs, as the name implies, have a strong horizontal line emphasis, one that is parallel with the tabletop or other plane surface. The horizontal line provides a restful, peaceful feeling. These designs are generally symmetrical (but can also be asymmetrical) and can be made all-sided or one-sided. The horizontal line is combined with the triangular or the circular shape, resulting in horizontal designs as shown in Figure 1-48.

Horizontal arrangements are generally made in low and sometimes long containers. Often, the sides of the arrangement will extend past normal width proportion, enhancing the feeling of horizontal line.

This style of design is especially effective when designing flowers for the center of a dining table and is attractive when viewed from any side or angle. Candles are commonly used with this style of arrangement for a formal dinner party. Also, because it is kept low, it will not interfere with conversation across the table (see Figure 1-49).

Horizontal Design Styles--Steps of Construction

Step 1 Select a container that is low for your horizontal design, generally one that is oval or rectangular. A longer container will hold adequate foam and provide a larger area for water.

Step 2 Place the floral foam so that it extends above the container rim so the stems may be inserted into the sides of the foam block.

Step 3 If candles will be used, insert them directly into the foam, or use candle holders. Leave the candle wrappers on the candles to help protect them from scratches during construction. After the arrangement is completed, the wrappers may be removed.



Step 4 Next, establish the framework of the design. Insert flower or foliage stems to establish the length of the arrangement. Insert these stems deeply into the foam, angling them downward, inside the foam if possible, into the water supply.

Step 5 Insert two more stems to establish the narrow width of the framework. Keep these stems shorter, because space is generally limited on the tables where these arrangements are often placed (see Figure 1-50).

Step 6 Place a flower or foliage stem in the center to set the height limit for your bouquet.

Step 7 Add more flowers and foliages near the rim of the container. When viewed from above, these flower heads and foliage tips should extend out far enough to form the pattern of an oval or diamond, as shown in Figure 1-51, to help blend the length of the arrangement with the massed area.

Step 8 Add flowers and foliages to fill in the body of the arrangement and conceal any mechanics (see Figure 1-52). As with S-curve designs, do not be tempted to add too many flowers. Keep the profile of the entire design low.

Step 9 Finally, add filler flowers and foliages if desired to complete the design (see Figure 1-53).





Most floral arrangements can be classified as triangular, circular, vertical, or horizontal. Learning about these various shapes and the steps of construction for each allows you more design options.

With continued practice, you will become proficient in constructing the basic shapes of arrangements described in this chapter. As you gain more and more experience, your skills and confidence will increase and your desire for further self-expression in the art of floral design can be more fully realized.
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Author:Hunter, Norah T.
Publication:Delmar's Handbook of Flowers, Foliage, and Creative Design
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Next Article:Section 2: flowers to wear.

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