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How to arrange flowers in a vase

Flowers have been used for decoration as early as ancient Egypt. Evidence of this appeared in carved reliefs, pottery and paintings. The Chinese practised the art as well, influenced by Confucians, Taoism and Buddhism. For example, the flower arrangements in the Tao style meant harmony of yin and yang. This article explains how to arrange flowers in a vase.

The flowers

The first step is selecting the flowers for the arrangement. You can be influenced by their beauty, colour, shape and expense. Another way to choose your flowers is by the tradition of the meaning of flowers. While relatively new in spite of being in Europe for two hundred years (Shakespeare even included such language in his plays), the tradition dates back to the Chinese. Sites like The Language of Flowers can be a great resource. It lists flowers alphabetically and then, includes the meaning associated with the flower beneath it. By choosing the flowers in this way, you can put together an arrangement that carries a meaning beyond the beauty of the flowers. A modern flower arrangement that was very much influenced by this tradition was the one picked by Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, for her marriage.

The vase

Picking out the vase is the next step. The vase should suit the flowers so that each one compliments the other. The vases can be glass vases, glass art vases, bowls or even modern vases. Keeping balance however, is the most important consideration. If you choose to have an arrangement that consists of roses, then a plastic tumbler or soda can would not be a good choice for a vase. However, the reverse is true as well. If you choose wildflowers to create your arrangement, then a gold-encrusted vase would not work.

Arrange the flowers

Take your time putting the flowers in the vase. Arrange them so that they do not look crushed or if there are too few flowers in the vase (this last mistake can be avoided by picking the proper vase in the above step). Allow the flowers to look natural and unstudied. The centre should perhaps be taller than the flowers on the side, but this is up to you. When you are finished, inspect the arrangement one last time and make any changes that you wish. If you are satisfied, then you will be left with a beautiful flower arrangement.

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