Arranging flowers gives you a chance to participate in an art activity, to express yourself creatively, and to make
your home or room more livable and attractive.
You make a flower arrangement whenever you place selected flowers and foliages into a container according to
plan or design. Roses casually placed in a vase are attractive because of their beautiful color and shape. These
same roses are even more appealing when arranged in a stylish way.
Most flower arrangements are made for a certain purpose or place. An arrangement for the dining table, for
example, should be of a size, color, and shape that will harmonize with the table setting. Besides being beautiful
and suitable for the occasion or place, a good flower arrangement should be expressive of some theme or idea
and of your own personality.
As a flower arranger you are participating in an art form. The chief difference between flower arranging and the
other arts is the medium. Our medium is plant material. What paint is to the painter and clay is to the potter,
flowers and foliages are to us. Our medium is alive and will die quickly unless given proper care.
In Selecting Your Plant Materials, you must consider their color, shape, texture, size, space, and expressiveness.
These are the visual characteristics or design elements of all objects. For example, a rose could be described in
this way: yellow with green leaves and stem; round and halfway open with spaces between the petals; 3 inches
wide and 2 inches deep; straight stem 12 inches long; velvety texture; and expressive of your best wishes on
your mother's birthday.
Next you must decide on the style or design for arranging your plant material. Three general styles—Line
Arrangements, Mass Arrangements, and Line-Mass Arrangements—are in use today. In selecting a style, consider
the place where the arrangement will be used or the occasion for its use. The shape of the container may give
you ideas. Your greatest inspiration, however, should come from the plant material itself. Let its shape, the way
it grows, or the combination you choose suggest the right way to use it.
There is no end to the many possible variations of the three basic styles of flower arranging. Look for ideas in
books, magazines, flower shows, florists' windows, and arrangements made by your friends. Then use your own
imagination to create new arrangements that will express your ideas and personality.
As you finish your arrangement, take a critical look at it, where you will find some of the questions you may
ask—and answer. If you are pleased with it, you will want to know why. If something seems not quite right, you
will want to know what is wrong and how to correct it. To help answer the why, what, and how, study the
principles underlying the art of flower arranging. In your next arrangement begin to make these principles work