Rules of Floral Design for Beginners
Rather than rules, here are a few guidelines to help novice floral designers achieve their goals.
The first and only rule is that there are no rules. Follow your instinct. Choose colors and kinds of flowers that you find pleasing, and you’ll come up with stunning designs.
Have fun. This is no place for fears and tears. Look upon it as an experience, and not as a goal-oriented event. This can prevent frustration from getting out of hand if things don’t always go exactly right. Your first couple arrangements may not be prize-winners, but it gives you a chance to learn the basics without fear of criticism or self-reproach.
Keep it simple. Floral arrangements need not be elegant. Start with easy flowers, such as hydrangeas, sunflowers, or roses from the garden. Find a matching set of glass jars or bottles, and fill all of them with the same kind of flower. When you’re finished, display all of them together on a tabletop or other similar location.
Use floral preservatives. You certainly want your creations to last well. Preservatives increase the vase life of fresh flowers, and are well worth the money and effort. For the most part, commercial products work better than home remedies. Some people may have good luck using ginger ale, but don’t take a chance. Use the real thing.
Match the flower type to the style of design you have in mind. By their very nature, some blooms are informal. Take the sunflower, for example. There’s nothing you can do to make it seem formal or elegant. On the other hand, calla lilies are the epitome of formality.
Stretch your budget. Maybe you don’t have a lot to spend on flowers. That shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying this hobby. Look for inexpensive sources, such as discount stores and supermarket floral departments. When shopping at these stores, you may need to choose the stems carefully in order to get good ones. Some of the plant material in stock at discount prices may not be in perfect condition, so you may need to shop carefully.
Another way to stretch your budget is to choose long-lasting flowers, or ones that can be used as everlastings. This extends the useful life of the plant material at no extra expense. For example, buy a stem or two of hydrangea, and create a lovely fresh flower arrangement. Later you can dry these stems for future use as an everlasting. The same is true for globe amaranth and all kinds of statice.
Containers of all sorts are available at bargain prices if you go to the right places, such as yard sales, rummage sales, and tag sales. If you have a container and just don’t like the color any more, why not paint it?
Go out in your backyard, and see what kinds of material you can harvest. Cutting gardens are a great way to save money. In addition, numerous kinds of garden plants, wildflowers, and other natural materials in our yards are useful in floral designs. These are absolutely free.
Don’t limit yourself to flowers. Floral material is more than just blooms. It includes herbs, veggies, fruits, cones and seedpods of all sorts, as well as foliage and branches—blooming and dried.
Anyone can do floral design. Don’t let health problems or physical handicaps stop you. A friend of mine has rheumatoid arthritis, which affects the use of her hands. But that doesn’t prevent her from creating gorgeous floral designs. If necessary, buy special pruning shears, scissors, and the like. These are available from specialty stores.
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