Elements and Principles of Floral Design

Elements and Principles of Floral Design

Myra presented a primer on the elements of floral design.
Myra presented a primer on the elements of floral design.

At a recent meeting of the Chester Garden Club, about two dozen members showed up to learn about the elements of design as applied to flower arranging in sanctioned competitions. Illustrating her talk with a large number of images of varied designs, Myra drew on her knowledge and experience as a flower show judge to outline the basic principles that are used by accredited judges to determine the prize-winners when studying entries in  provincial and national flower show competitions. The universal elements of design include space, line, form, colour, texture and pattern. It is the arrangement of these elements according to the general principles of design, which are the factors that are considered during the judging of arrangements.

Fire
Colour is a compelling element in this arrangement with a theme of “Fire”.

In brief, the principles of design involve balance (both in colour and in symmetry or asymmetry), rhythm within the arrangement, proportion of plant material to container, scale of individual components vis-à-vis the others, contrast of colour or shape, and dominance  of one element over the rest.

spiral motion
Structure, such as a visual path — in this case a spiral line — is a key element.
Design showing a contrast in colour and texture.
Design showing a contrast in colour and texture.
an arrangement of wildflowers, showing attention to form, colour, pattern and texture.
An arrangement of wildflowers, showing attention to form, colour, pattern and texture.

In a move to encourage young people to take an interest in Chester’s annual Flower Show,  Myra has run a short course for local children, where she teaches the basic principles and encourages lots of hands-on experimentation in arrangements. Her efforts have already brought dividends as several of her young pupils have won prizes in the children’s class of local flower show competitions in the last two years.

Myra's school
Myra and her young pupils display some of their own creations.

Members who attended the presentation as part of their own preparation for entering floral arrangements in this year’s Flower Show and Tea, enjoyed sampling the refreshments offered before the business meeting.  Danielle took advantage of the meeting to promote the fund-raising raffle that is being held in conjunction with this year’s show.

Danielle encourages all CGC members to support the raffle of an artisan's handiwork.
Danielle encourages all CGC members to support the raffle of an artisan’s handiwork.
Tulips are a welcome sign of spring on the refreshment table.
Tulips are a welcome sign of spring on the refreshment table.

The screen is a metal frame holding six hand-hooked samplers with scenes typical of Nova Scotia’s South Shore. A photo of the screen can be found on the page “Flower Show and Tea” (see menu at top of this page).

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