Arranging flowers is a natural extension of gardening and loving flowers. Whether the flowers are purchased from a florist or come from the backyard, creating a beautiful flower arrangement is a creative expression. Artist Mokichi Okada teaches the concept of "co-creation" in flower arranging -- placing yourself in harmony with nature through the placement of flowers in an arrangement. Arranging flowers can produce a feeling of peacefulness and joy and bring beauty indoors.
Classic formal arrangements look best in large spaces such as the dining room or living room. Choose flowers with a variety of colors or one color theme for a dramatic effect. Formal arrangements often have a tall vase and long-stemmed flowers such as roses, iris, larkspur, tiger and stargazer lilies. Delphiniums can add height and movement to your display. Create a focal point to the design by placing a striking flower such as an orchid spray or full-blossomed rose in the middle. Arrange the flowers around it to create balance. Formal flower designs always express balance and symmetry.
Casual arrangements look attractive on sideboards, bookcases, lamp tables and coffee tables. They are characterized by an unmatched variety of flowers, with little attention paid to symmetry. Put the flowers in the container loosely for an unstudied look. This style creates a feeling of intimacy and comfort in a room. Containers such as tea pots, small fish bowls and coffee mugs add to the casual feel. Use flowers with colorful, dainty petal shapes such as daisies, dianthus, dwarf zinnias and miniature roses. The dark blue of cornflowers adds an instant country look.
Japanese flower arranging is called the art of Ikebana. Living tree branches, leaves, grasses and blossoms are used in ways that draw the eye to their unique and beautiful forms. Choose containers, materials and flowers that reflect the season. Shallow dishes are often used so the water is felt to be part of the arrangement. A few stones in the water bring the earth element into the design. Fewer flowers are used in Ikebana than in Western flower arranging. Sometimes one stalk of iris or fruit tree blossoms is the focal point of the design. An arrangement should express the beauty resulting from the graceful lines, color combinations and natural shapes that are inherent in the plant materials.