A guide to flower and foliage arrangement, part 1: Principles and types of floral arrangements

Featured photo by Lizzie on Unsplash.

By Vina Medenilla


A flower is a form of art in itself, but putting varied flowers and leaves together can create a new form of beauty. Aside from making a place feel alive, well-arranged flowers can reduce stress and can boost one’s mood just by their presence, and even more when one creates floral arrangements.  


In the last series of AgriTalk 2020 in Calabarzon leg titled “Dainty and Artsy: A Webinar Series on Plant Arts,” Cris De Leon, a florist from JADD Flowershop and an instructor in Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU), tackled the principles and types of flower arrangement.


Principles of flower arrangement

Seeing and smelling flowers can be stress-relieving, and if you’re into flowers, one hobby that you can try is flower arrangement. Before you begin, here are some crucial elements that you need to consider:


Scale. In terms of selecting flowers, one thing you must think of is getting the right sizes. This will depend on the space and the pot where you will place them. De Leon explained in Tagalog, “You cannot use small flowers for huge spaces because they’ll not be seen that way.” The scale will be the basis of how big or small the flowers should be in one arrangement. You cannot put tall flowers in small vases nor place tiny flowers in big pots, said the florist.


Proportion. This refers to the balance of flower distribution in one whole arrangement. Having the right proportion will make the flowers look even and pleasing to the eyes without it looking too packed or congested.


Harmony. A flower arrangement is all about combining various flowers in one vessel and having them complement each other. As per De Leon, the more texture you add to the floral arrangement, the better as it makes the overall look of the set vibrant.


Rhythm. This directs one’s eyes to the arrangement. Rhythm puts the character in the arrangement that tends to catch one’s attention. Color is a crucial part of building a rhythm in a flower arrangement.


Balance. There are two types of balance: visual and physical. Visual balance pertains to the evenness of the flowers by its appearance, while the physical balance has to do with the physical weight of the flowers when combined. The arrangement must be sturdy enough to stand by itself to prevent it from toppling over. As per De Leon, the flowers must be properly distributed.


Unity. Since a floral arrangement is composed of multiple varieties, making it united means that despite the different colors and shapes of flowers and leaves, it will still look unified and undivided.   


Emphasis. In a flower arrangement, this element draws people’s attention to look at the most noticeable flower or leaves at the first glance. If you want a certain flower to stand out, emphasize them by putting them in the middle or in front, or by mixing it with another variety with less notable color.


Kinds of flower arrangement

There are many types of flower arrangement around the world and some of the basic ones are the following:


Line. This arrangement is composed of flowers and leaves formed in a line whether in the horizontal or vertical direction.  


Line mass. This is similar to line arrangement and the only difference is that there’s an added volume of flowers in selected parts. As per De Leon, this is usually used in presidential or long tables during events.


Mass. From its name, this type of arrangement entails massive numbers of flowers and leaves in one arrangement. This may involve single or multiple numbers of flowers gathered in great amounts.


We normally see flower arrangements during special occasions and not on a daily basis due to the flowers’ short life. However, this can be a therapeutic hobby and can even be a lucrative business too, especially when flowers are in high demand. 


The proper care, tools, and materials needed for flower arrangements will be discussed in the next part of the article

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Vina Medenilla
Vina Medenilla is a content producer for Agriculture Monthly magazine. She is a graduate from Miriam College with a bachelor’s degree in Communication. Fashion, photography, and travel are some of the things she loves. For her, connection with nature is essential to one’s life.

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