An article on floristry, the art of flower arrangement.
Floristry is the production, commerce, and trade in flowers. It comprises of flower care and handling, floral design, merchandising, display and flower delivery. It can also involve the cultivation of flowers and to the business of selling them. The first flower shop opened in 1875. Most of the raw material supplied for the floristry trade comes from the cut flowers industry.
Floral design or floral arts is the art of creating flower arrangements in vases, bowls, baskets or other containers. Florists are people who work with flowers and plants, generally at the retail level. In the Netherlands, the first horticultural college was founded in 1896 in Naaldwijk. The second horticultural college was founded in 1897 in Aalsmeer.
Many nations have their own style of floral arranging.
Ikebana—It is a style of floral design that originated in Japan. It is best known for its simplicity of line and form, it is a design style primarily practiced for personal enjoyment. It has three parts of alignment—heaven man and earth.
English Garden–-It is traditionally an English form of floral design. Stems are placed in a radial fashion and have an abundant use of seasonal flowers and foliages. These designs are often done as low, tufted mounds, or taller vase arrangements that are all-sided (360 degrees) and incorporate garden flowers like roses, gardenia, camellia, delphinium, and peonies. The flowers are usually arranged with minimal space between the blooms and foliage is used to accent the flowers as these are the main feature.
Modern/European Style—Modern/European Style floristry involves contemporary, linear designs that highlight unique forms of both individual floral materials and of the designs themselves. These arrangements incorporate the asymmetrical placement of materials. The style stands in direct contrast to traditional radial arrangements such as English Garden. Modern/European Style designs often incorporate unique, exotic or tropical flowers like Birds of Paradise, Orchids, Anthurium and Protea of the Caribbean and some more common blossoms like Roses, Gerberas, and Lilies.
Contemporary/Dutch style-–The contemporary/Dutch style designs also involve contemporary and linear designs. This style uses a lot of different kinds of greens and is used in a natural way. This style started in the early ’80s. Stones, bark, and mosses are used in these designs.
A florist organizes flowers by season and holiday. Flowers have different meanings in different cultures. Poppies are used to remember fallen soldiers only in Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries. Colors of flowers convey different meanings to different groups. Like a red rose symbolizes love, white represents death in many Asian cultures whereas white is usually a symbol of purity and innocence in countries of European heritage.
Fresh Flower Sources—There are usually three major sources of fresh flowers for retail florists: local growers, local wholesalers, and flower auctions. The majority of these are supplied by specialist horticultural and cut flower suppliers. Internationally there are hundreds of wholesale flower markets and auctions, the largest of which is located in Aalsmeer. Other major markets include the fledgling Dubai Flower Centre and the Ota Flower Market in Tokyo, Japan. Within North America, Miami is considered to be the main distribution point for imported fresh flowers.
Known throughout the world as Ikebana, a Japanese flower arrangement is different from Western arrangements by its asymmetry, its choice of materials which incorporates a higher proportion of branch and grass materials than flowers and the principles of yin and yang. The earliest flower arrangements in Japan were used as Buddhist offerings. A tall stem was placed vertically in a metal vase with two other stems placed symmetrically on either side of it. Other than altar flowers, no systemized styles of flower arranging developed in Japan until the late 15th century. A man named Senkei, founder of the Ikenobo School, developed a secular style called Rikka(standing flowers). Seven branches or stems(later nine)were arranged to represent Mt. Sumeru of Buddhist cosmology. Rikka arrangements were popular from the 16th to 17th in the decoration of alcoves in the grand homes and palaces of aristocrats and the ruling warrior elite. With the emergence of the Zen-inspired tea ceremony in the 16th century, a simple and austere form of arrangement was developed for contemplation in tea huts. The style is called Nageire and often involves only a single stem or flower bud placed in a hanging or standing vase, supported by one other simple stem. This style is credited to tea master Sen no Rikyu who advocated the use of wildflowers placed without artifice. With the rise of the merchant class in the Edo period (1600-1868)a new style of arranging that combined the dignity of Rikka with the simplicity of Nageire developed called Shoka(also called Seika)and by the end of the 18th century it became the most popular style. Shoka arrangements consisted of three main branches arranged in an asymmetrical triangle with supporting stems and branches. The three points became commonly known as ten(heaven), chi(earth) and jin(man).In the modern period from 1868, new and less restrictive styles were created by such innovators as Ohara Unshin(1861-1914), who developed the style called Moribana, using shallow wide-mouthed containers and Teshigahara Sofu who used nonorganic materials including plastic and steel in his avant-garde arrangements. He started the Sogetsu school.
Though there are now up to 2,000 ikebana schools, the Ikenobo, Ohara and Sogetsu schools remain the most popular both in Japan and overseas. In addition, the independent Ikebana International organization is spreading Japanese flower art through 170 branches worldwide.
THE MOST POPULAR FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS:-
1. The fan-shaped flower arrangement-—It is one of the most commonly used classic flower arrangement styles. In this arrangement, the flowers and leaves are arranged in the shape of a fan. Leaves are like the flower blades. Some differently colored flowers are used for this arrangement. The empty space within the flowers is filled up using fillers. These are gorgeous in looks with wonderful shape and size. Thus this arrangement is very popular.
2. Elliptical flower arrangement-—In this type of flower arrangement, the flowers are placed and arranged in the form of an ellipse. The flowers commonly used for this purpose are roses, sunflowers, dahlia, lotus, tuberoses, lilies and many more. Only bright flowers are used for this purpose. The flowers are bright and sweet-scented. These are mostly bouquet arrangements and ideal to be presented on birthdays, weddings and other parties. These are really attractive in looks. The best color combination of flowers is used here.
3. Vertical flower arrangement-—It is one of the most used flower arrangements in the form of bouquets and flower baskets. A mixture and combination of different types of flowers with various colors and shapes are used for these arrangements.
4. Horizontal flower arrangement—-In this arrangement flowers of different colors are arranged in rows or on a zig-zag basis. Usually, strongly scented or fragrant flowers are used for this purpose.
5. Triangular flowers-–This arrangement is triangular in shape. The whole flower bunch is cut and trimmed in the shape of a triangle. It has usually a big flower in the middle, adding to the beautification of the arrangement. These flowers are arranged in bright flower bouquets covered with glossy and transparent cellophane papers.
6. The crescent flower arrangement—-This type of arrangement is also known as the C type arrangement in which the freshly plucked flower with green leaves and stem fillers are used on a flower basket arrangement. This style looks very beautiful and gorgeous. These are usually supported by glossy flower wraps and leaves and flowers are tied with silk, satin made colorful ribbons.
7. The ‘S’ Shaped flower arrangement-—This arrangement has an ‘S’ shape. These are arranged in the form of flower bouquets and baskets. These are usually big in size and is very presentable. These are placed in flower stands and look upright. A lot of leaves with floral fillers are also used for this arrangement.
8. The oval-shaped flower arrangement-—This arrangement is oval shaped. The flowers, green stems, and leaves are cut and trimmed in an oval shape and placed in bunches, bouquets, and baskets. This arrangement looks very dense and bushy from outside. It is used for interior decoration purposes all over the world.
9. The cascade flower arrangement-–It is a gorgeous and bushy flower arrangement. Apart from flowers, leaves, and stems, a lot of fresh green grass is used to prepare this very special type of flower arrangement. These are arranged in flower bouquets and presented on wedding anniversaries of all religions. It is a very popular form around the globe.