Floral Design And The Art Of Beautiful Flower Arranging

The floral industry uses specific techniques and skills to create extremely appealing fresh cut, hand tied flower arrangements, bunches and flower bouquets using the intricate art of floral design. This involves the use of bowls, baskets, vases, paper and other decorative objects to complete a floral design.

There are various styles of design that are popular and each type of style has different characteristics. Flower design originates from many different cultures all over the world. Floral design techniques are usually taught in a school, special college or academy for students to receive the best quality training. The skill is reasonably in demand and there is a shortage of trained professionals in the field, especially with the rising need for professionally arranged flower bouquets.

A flower designer will require training in specific skills and techniques. Use of the correct combination of flowers (aesthetically and practically), cutting, treating and selling flowers are all skills a flower designer should have.

Bouquet or Bunches
Blooms gathered in a hand tied flower arrangement using a creative style are called bouquets. Large varieties of bouquets make attractive arrangements and are used at weddings, given as gifts on special occasions and are a favourite romantic gesture.

This type of arrangement is extremely popular and widely available in many different flower combinations, according to flowers that are in season. Bouquets are available from shops, petrol stations, florists and online retailers as they are so enduringly popular. Small flower bouquets have more specific names and traditions associated with their use.

Boutonnire
This small, flower arrangement is an accessory for a mans jacket lapel. The flower used is generally a carnation or a red rose and the arrangement is a very simple decoration using one flower. These are used at formal events such as weddings where the groom, his groomsmen and best man will wear them. The word boutonnire is French for button hole and is a reference to the traditional positioning of the flower on a mans lapel, through the buttonhole. Today, the boutonnire is attached with a pin, as many jackets do not have the traditional straight buttonhole on their lapels, yet this can be considered a faux pas to some due to traditional associations.

Corsages
A corsage is a single flower or a small flower arrangement, larger than a boutonnire. The arrangement is extremely popular in America for formal dances and special occasions and was previously favoured as a fashion accessory. The corsage can be pinned to an outfit but generally the corsage is tied around the wearers wrist to avoid damage to their outfit.

Posey, nosegay and tussie-mussie
A Posey is a small collection of flowers. Also known as a nosegay or tussie-mussie, these small bouquets are generally presented as gifts and were very popular in history.

The name nosegay stems from the use of a small flower bouquet to eliminate foul odours such as bad breath and bad hygiene, from as early as the Medieval Period. Worn attached to the bodice or tied around a persons head, they were a widespread solution for disguising bad smells and keeping the nose happy (gay).

Tussie-mussies were popular during Queen Victorias reign in England. The small flower bouquets were favoured as a fashion accessory and were often comprised of flowers with symbolic meanings. Tussie-Mussies were used to convey messages and meanings to those they were presented to as a gift.

Wreaths
A wreath is an arrangement of flowers in the shape of a ring. These are purely for decoration or to be worn as a head dress or festive crown during a celebration. Wreaths are extremely symbolic according to the flowers used in the arrangement. For example, evergreens symbolised strength, whilst wreaths of red poppies laid at memorials on Remembrance Day represent the poppies which grew on the battlefields and trenches after the war and the blood spilled during battle. The Romans used wreaths as a female headdress and winning Olympians were crowned with a special wreath.

In South Africa wreaths are often used for sympathy arrangements at funerals.

Different styles of arrangement: Ikebana
Ikebana is Japanese for the art of giving life to flowers and uses oriental styles to create minimalistic, pure and uncluttered arrangements aimed at exploring nature and mans relationship. The arranging of flowers in this method is a highly skilled and very disciplined art.

The arrangements often focus on the areas of the plant alternative to the customary Western-World tradition. The stems and leaves are extremely important in this style of flower arranging. The colours used are simple and the style of arrangement emphasises the clean-cut shape. Ikebana uses only organic plants which are arranged in a scalene triangle shape to represent elements such as humanity, heaven and earth or the earth, moon and sun.

English Garden
This English variation of floral design is structured in a radial arrangement in a tall vase or shorter bowl. The style uses flowers which are in season, especially garden blooms.

High Style
The High Style variation of flower arrangements uses tropical or exotic flowers predominantly such as the Bird of Paradise flower and is not limited to any symmetrical formations. Contemporary and up-to-date designs are generally classified as High Style and the unique floral arrangements are emphasised by the linear structure of the arrangements.

Hand tied flower arrangements and flower bouquets made from fresh cut flowers in the Ikebana, English Garden and High Style fashion are responsible for providing aesthetic and emotive dcor for many situations and settings. Gifts made of beautiful hand tied flower arrangements are highly regarded in all societies, making the art of flower design a welcome necessity.