Flower Arrangement, the art of flower arrangement is quite old. It is defined as “the art of organizing flowers, other plant materials and receptacles into compositions having harmony of form, texture and colour. Its purpose is to add cheer, life and beauty to surroundings”. We use this art not only in homes but also in our temples, at the festivities and auspicious occasions by making decorations in the form of garlands, wall hangings door decorations etc, by using flowers and foliage. Also these a days, we see many displays of this art in the competitions and exhibitions of flower and garden shows.
This art needs lot of creative ability which can be developed by almost any one through study and experience. Studying pictures of interesting arrangements in books, magazines for ideas is one way of learning this art but actual experience is essential in developing skill in flower arrangement.
Flower arrangements are used at various locations such as on tables. window sills, walls, and corners to suit the occasions and space. The colour of the arrangement should be in harmony with the colours in the rooms. Flowers show oh” better against plain backgrounds and curtains, than against patterned ones. Bold colored and large flowers should be used to brighten the dark corners. Flower arrangement can he used as a center of attraction in other dark room.
Materials used in Flower Arrangement
There are three basic materials needed for creating beautiful arrangements:
a. Flowers and foliage, fruits, berries
c. Stern holders, scissors, knife, wires.
d. In addition to these many more accessories are also used besides plant material.
Collecting containers and other materials and keeping these easily available makes the task of arranging hours easy.
(a) Flowers beaches and leaves:
Any kind of flowers and foliage, fresh, dry, or artificial coca can be used in this art.
Seasonal fresh Covers give a large variety of choice so all kinds of arrangement. Dry lovers and foliage can he collected, bought and preserved Such dry materials are handy when hovers are not easily available and do not need much care and attention. once the arrangement is made.
Artificial flowers made of crepe paper, organ die satin, and velvet fabrics. plastic and so on are also available on market which can he used skillfully. Bot these should resemble the natural cams and materials otherwise these should be avoided.
(b) Preparation and care flowers:
The best results are usually obtained by cutting lovers in the evening or early morning and putting them immediately in a bucket of water in the garden. Leaves buds and half Open or full-bloom blossoms should he cut with a very sharp knife or homer shears at an angle under water. Woody stems should he slit to allow water to enter. Certain flowers need special treatments.
After lowers have been out they should he allowed to remain deeped in water bucks for at least three hours in a dark cool place to fortify themselves with water. In order to lengthen the life of cut demure stems should be trimmed daily while under water, and the water should he changed every day. Stems of horrors which give out sticky white substance should he held under running water to allow water to be absorbed freely.
Fresh flowers bought from market should be carried in wet newspaper, put into polythene bag. Stems of these should be cut again at home and immersed in a bucket of water of few hours before using them in flower arrangements
Leaves as foliage play Important role in flower arrangement. Not necessarily leaves of the same plant as flowers be used, but other leaves will harmonize with the character of the flowers can be used Leaves when grouped with flowers and cut to give varied lengths provide beautiful transitional lines into a bouquet. They also help to unify the base of the flower arrangement.
Foliage, fruits or berries can b: used for semi-permanent everyday arrangements. Arrangements of colored crotons, begonias, succulent plants like cactus and its varieties last quite long. These can also be complemented by adding flowers. Dried materials can be used effectively as substitutes for fresh dowers.
For dried plant arrangements one can collect materials from jungles, mountain sides, or from ones own garden. The materials should be gathered in summer or winter, and hung head downwards until they are thoroughly dry. To dry the leaves well first place the stems in a solution of two parts water to one part glycerine for two weeks. Branches of colorful leaves or ferns can be pressed between news papers under a heavy board, after a light application of cooking oil. Pine cones, dry branches, drift wood etc, can be used effectively for textural effects.
(c) Flower pots and containers:
Flower pots or containers are available in market in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and materials. Selection of a suitable container for dower arrangements is of utmost importance. The base material from which the pot is made determines its texture. Off whites soft greens, and dull brown or earth colours are most suitable ones because they are inconspicuous and do not detract attention from the flowers displayed. Elaborately decorated containers are unsuitable hence simplicity in design of the container should be considered, and small sizes can be used on table tops. Low containers are best for dining tables. High and tall arrangements are attractive against tall wall areas or corners.
Different Types of Flower Vase
The round, oval or rectangular low vases, or empty tins, bottles, glass or earthenware bowls and other such objects available in our homes can be used for flower arrangements when properly chosen.
(d) Flower holders: There are many types of flower holders available in market. Besides these many others can be improvised.
(1) Needle point holders are made up of cast iron heavy blocks of round, rectangular, square, semi-circular with closely spaced needle point for fixing the Bower stems in desired direction.
(2) Modelling clay is used its base for arranging heavy flowers or weeds. It is also used to keep needle-point ho lens in place.
(3) Meshed chicken wire when crumpled up is useful as a holder.
(4) Forked stick that fits snugly across the inside of a cylindrical vase is used in Japanese arrangement. Stem holders should be concealed but not obviously. They can be covered by leaves, twigs, sand, clay, etc.
Any material used as accessories in flower arrangements should be aesthetically beautiful, should conform to the them: of the arrangement and should be integral part of the arrangements. Materials such as sea-shells coral rocks, small sculptures of animals, birds, human figures etc, should be proportionate to the size of the flower arrangement, and also in unequal amounts of plant material.
Types of Flower Arrangements
Before making any flower arrangements one must have full information as to the occasion, room-its style, design and colour, placement of the arrangement and the background space where flowers are to be placed and the mood of the people who would enjoy it.
Large symmetrical arrangements are suitable for formal occasion. Smaller casual ones of gay flower are for informal mood. A colorful room requires flower arrangements of similar colours. A living room may need a bower arrangement to create center of interest. In a dining table a low central arrangement is suitable so that diners can see each other.
There are following types of flower arrangement, mass, line, Japanese and dry arrangements.
(a) Mass Arrangement
(b) Line Arrangement-Japanese Arrangement Emphasizing the Lines
(a) Mass arrangements:
Mass type is a full bodied composition of large amount of plant material. The grouping as a whole and the colours are more important here than the line.
These may be compact, semi~compact or airy. These may be natural or stylist. Natural effects are suitable in informal rooms, stylist ones have a center of interest, segregated colours and linear patterns.
(b) Line arrangements:
Arrangements in which the element of line is the most important is known as line arrangement. In this type only a small amount of plant material is used in order to display the beautiful lines of plant growth. The lines and forms such as triangle, rectangle are modified. Regardless of the forms of flower arrangements the lines of all of them may be compared to the lines of a leafless tree with its lines radiating from the trunk.
Combination or line plus-mass arrangements:
This composition combines the best features of line and mass type arrangements. Design is emphasized in these arrangements, they are usually stylist. Some popular shapes are-the triangle‘ pyramid, circle, upright, semi-circle, crescent, fan, and S-curve
Diminutive arrangements Small arrangements may be used on trays or individual placements on dining tables.
(c) Japanese flower arrangement:
This style emphasizes a basic theme according to which the flowers are arranged Japanese have developed this art to a high degree through many different schools of flower arrangement. Flowers have an important plctc in the life of the people of Japan, and have special significance beyond beauty.
Practically all styles of Japanese arrangements are based on three principles: Heaven Man Earth which are represented by three main sprays The highest spray symbolizes Heaven and it is arranged as central axis in the vase. The length is usually measured from one and One half; to two and one half times the height of a tall container. The second height represents Man. It gives the greatest width ‘to the arrangement, and is about three-fourth the height of the tallest spray. The lowest spray denotes Earth, and the spray is about half as tall as the one signifying Man, and it extends very little beyond the diameter of the vase. It is placed opposite to the branch signifying Man and thus balances it.
Tali as well as low vases can be used in this type Mostly they are made from bamboo, bronze or pottery in some subdued colours as brown, gray, tan, dull, blue grayish green or bronze. In low pots metal pin holders are used in tall vases split twig or forked branch is used to hold the flowers stems.
The stems are bent by various cuts to give impress of natural growth of the plant. These arrangements always appear simple and never overcrowded. The arrangements mostly use odd number of sprays such as three, five, seven and so on but the effect is of the main three branches Heaven, Man and Earth. In case of low Eat shape vases, the height of spray is determined on basis of the diameter of the bowl
(d) Steps in making flower arrangements:
Whatever may be the type of flower arrangements, the simple rules or guidelines will help to arrange the flowers:
I. Make a definite plan for any flower arrangement based on the purpose, room, space and location in the room.
2. Select containers, flowers and foliage that express the mood of the room, the occasion, and the colour scheme.
3. Bee flowers with stems of different sizes and select flowers according to the size of the vases-short or tall, e.g. short stems in low wide vases.
4. Arrange the tallest stems first and then others according to the type of arrangement namely mass, line or their combination, Japanese and so on.
5. Large flowers with bright bold colours can be used in small numbers and at the center in tall vases. Small, short stemmed flowers may be easy to arrange in groups in low vases.
6. Do not mix up fresh flowers and artificial honors.
7. the whole arrangement should keep proper proportion between sire and shape of vases and those of flower stems
8 Small arrangements should be grouped with other objects
9. Cover up the stem holders.
10. Pour enough water in the vases.
11. Change the water everyday.