Many of our florists are artists in their own right, creating floral designs that delight, enchant and bring smiles to faces. Like any artists, though, florists draw from a variety of historical influences, while still adding their own unique touch to bouquets. Perhaps they follow a set style discipline, or use a blend of styles to create something entirely new. A little practice will help you determine the style of your bouquet. To help with that, here’s a brief overview of various Asian styles of flower arranging.
By some accounts, the practice of flower arranging in China dates back to about 210 BCE, though it didn’t become a more widespread practice until much later. Chinese flower arrangements, often used in religious and medicinal ceremonies, placed emphasis on structure and meaning, as well as beauty. Instead of masses of flowers, as seen in many European styles, Chinese flower arrangements often assume a style that mimics calligraphic lines. You’ll often find not only flowers, but twigs and branches and other elements you’d find among flowers in a natural setting.
Ikebana is the most well-known of the Japanese styles of flower arranging. This style often rests on the three points of line, shape and form, where every element included in the bouquet has its purpose. Florists who design in this tradition seek to create a blend of nature and humanity, with designs that reflect the earth, the heavens and the human influence. Harmony in all aspects–the flowers, twigs, leaves, containers, and the line and form–is one of the goals of Japanese style flower arranging. Sometimes a single flower and a spray of twigs is the complete design. Other designs may be more lush and full, but will still put emphasis on harmonizing all the natural elements.
As with many Asian styles of floral design, Korean flower arrangements were often used in Buddhist temples and ceremonies. Less tied to form and structure than Chinese or Japanese styles, Korean floral designs depend a lot on local flowers and plants. Simple white bowls make up the bulk of Korean design containers; these are often filled with local flowers and grasses in arrangements that are elegant in their simplicity.
There is so much more to the various styles of flower arranging, but this overview will give you a start. Look through BloomNation.com’s floral marketplace to see how our florists make the various design styles their own. If you don’t see what you are looking for, don’t hesitate to ask your local florist to create it for you, or to seek out one that specializes in your desired type of bouquet design.