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Floral Arrangements of the 1960s

By Kate Carpenter ; Updated September 21, 2017
Bright, bold flower colors were often used in arrangements of the 1960s.

In modern times, the 1960s were culturally diverse and full of change. Beginning with the conservative influences of the 1950s, the 1960s evolved into individuality and an abandonment of tradition and rules. The words "contemporary," "freedom" and "change" dominated every aspect of style, including floral design.

Flowers

Local florists of the 1960s did not have the cost-effective availability of fast global shipping common for today's floral shops. Therefore, most florists were limited to a more general selection of flowers acquired regionally. Carnations, chrysanthemums, daisies, lilies, gladiolas and roses were the basic selection for floral arrangements. Home arrangements were restricted to blossoms available from the garden, limiting seasonal flower arrangements.

Style

The 1960s were a time of conflict and extremes, and so were the popular flower arrangement styles. Two prominent arrangement styles emerged that were quite opposite in structure and style. The more predominant floral arrangement style of the 1960s was known as"'free style." Open space, asymmetrical in design, abstract and with visual movement, the free-style floral arrangements of the 1960s often incorporated interesting accessories, like large bare branches and unique containers. At the other extreme was a tight, compact style of arranging flowers in a formal, geometrical design, referred to as "geometric mass" design. Geometric mass floral arrangements remained stylish into the 1970s.

Colors

Rich earthy tones of avocado green, golden yellow, burnt orange and browns dominated color schemes in the early to mid 1960s and were reflected in floral designs. Toward the latter part of the decade, when the flower-power hippie movement gain in popularity, bright, vibrant color palettes emerged, featuring hot pinks, orange, electric blue, neon green and blazing yellows. In keeping with the new trend, floral arrangements of the late 1960s were bold and energized with the inclusion of bright colors.