The Best of Blooms
Through changing times, styles and trends have come and gone.
But flower arrangements have continuously conveyed our love for nature. They’ve played a huge part in our admiration of life’s beauty!
Each vivid creation is a work of art! It gives rise to a bright, pleasant ambience anywhere it’s placed.
But where did flower arrangements emerge? Whose idea was it to place flowers with each other and for what purpose? What did flowers mean to people in the ancient days?
How did styles in floral design evolve as time went on? What brought about these changes?
Today, we’ll answer all these questions. We’ll get a short but exciting peek into the history of flower arrangements!
Interested in a formal course? Want to get licensed as an expert on everything on flowers? We encourage checking out organizations that offer programs in floristry, such as:
American Institute of Floral Designers
Society of American Florists
American Floral Endowment
The very first records of floral design go back to 2500-2600 BCE in Ancient Egypt. Historical experts discovered that Egyptians were the first to artistically put flowers in a vase.
They were often used for feasts and religious ceremonials. Ancient Egyptians also used them to honor the dead in burials and processions.
Lotus flowers are frequently hailed as the most valuable flowers of that era. Egyptians believed they were sacred to the goddess Isis. In Egyptian art, men and women were often exhibited holding lotus flowers in their hands.
Similar attitudes towards the religious values of flowers were discovered in Ancient China. Confucians, Buddhists, and Taoists set cut blossoms on altars.
Florists were held in high regard and given immense respect. Ancient Chinese art also painted florals on vases, scrolls, and carvings.
Flowers and leaves were also often placed together based on what meanings they kept. Peonies represented wealth and good luck. This is why they are known and celebrated as the ‘king of flowers’.
Tiger lilies and orchids signified fertility. Pear and peach trees embodied long and happy lives.
In Ancient Greece and Rome, flowers were mainly used for lavish decor in a show of wealth. They weaved flowers and foliage into wreaths for joyful festivals.
Their love of flowers is widely-known. Blooms were often depicted in art and written into myths.
Wreaths also marked the celebration of victories. In Ancient Greece, they bestowed wreaths to champions of the early Olympic games. This custom continues to this day.
They also enjoyed flair and ingenuity with flowers. Historians assert that the very first mixed flower arrangement was from the Romans.
The Byzantines pursued the floral designs of the Roman empire. They placed more importance on perfect balance and polished looks.
They took on garland-making too. But they put their own twist on it by adding in fruit and foliage, building tree-like designs.
Gold and jewel tones were prevailing during this era. Popular flowers included carnations, cypress, daisies, and lilies.
After the Roman empire fell, there was an artistic downturn in the Middle Ages. Sadly, this extended to floral design.
Monks were the only ones to keep the art of floristry, using florals in monasteries. Inspired by Oriental fashions, they often placed their flowers in Chinese vases.
The Renaissance era saw a spirited resurgence of art and culture. This meant people found a new admiration for beauty and life in all forms. Italians were the first to convey their new zest for creativity in floristry.
Full, lavish flower arrangements were displayed in feasts. Others began to add them as decor for homes and churches.
Renaissance floral design was often interested in pure beauty and symmetry. Bright and bold color triads were in vogue, created with arc, ellipse, and triangle shapes. Flowers were also often coupled with different types of fruits and vegetables.
These were placed in a wide array of containers, from bowls to baskets to vases. But they were all designed to hide the stems and only emphasize the blooms.
People of this era also added special meanings to flowers, such as love, purity, and goodness. Among the most sought-after flowers then were carnations, daisies, irises, lilies, marigolds, and violets.
Affluence, luxury, propriety– these were the defining traits of the Victorian Era.
Flower arrangements became a way to display wealth and good breeding. This is why they became exceedingly lavish and elaborate. Luxurious homes had ornate vases teeming with gorgeous masses of flowers.
Ladies were educated on the art of floral design as part of their upbringing. It was also amid this time that floral design was formally taught and studied as a form of art.
Floral fashions in the Victorian era set itself apart from other periods. People then weren’t all that concerned with symmetry, cohesion, or color palettes.
They were more involved with how many flowers were in a vase, rather than with how they looked. Bouquets were often compact and cascading.
Rich, heavy colors like purples, blues, reds, and browns were in fashion for floral design. Flowers were usually arranged in a round shape. Foliage and herbs were placed in for more aroma and texture.
Roses, tulips, carnations, baby’s breath, and lilacs were among the most popular flowers.
Interest in floral design piqued in the USA during the 1930s. It was then determined to have its own rules by the Women’s Garden Club.
Traditional designs were involved with designing clean, harmonious arrangements. They gave texture and depth but only followed a specific design pattern.
Later on, free style became more popular. With no strict patterns, there was more leeway to explore several color palettes, rhythms, sizes, and plant materials.
There were more natural styles that integrated rocks, branches, and foliage. Japanese styles were also featured, marked by simplicity and openness.
Today, trends in floral designs continue to evolve! Now, there are countless options for floral design that take in everyone’s unique tastes and style!
Photo by Iman soleimany zadeh