Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Flowers Give an Arrangement Shape
By Debra Cary

***This is the fifth article in a series of 100 articles on floral design and running a   flower shop.

It is fascinating to know how different types of flowers and foliage are combined to make beautiful, distinctive bouquets. Flowers have individual shapes, textures, and colors. Line flowers are the tall flora that gives designs height, width, and a balanced look. Line flowers give a design its basic shape. Liatris, snapdragons, delphiniums, larkspur, stock, gladiolus, tuberose, veronica, curly willow, bells-of-Ireland, stock and Canterbury bells are all excellent examples. The line flowers are inserted both vertically and horizontally in the design after greenery. Focal and filler flowers are then added to add to the shape, texture and sentiment of the design.

Branches and tall foliage can also serve as line flowers. Most line flowers have blossoms graduating to buds at the top. Line flowers by themselves look stunning in cylindrical vases. Line flowers can give characteristic and creative importance to your designs.

There are several types of line in an arrangement. Lines can express different moods and feelings just by the direction they are placed. Line provides a pathway for the eye to follow throughout the arrangement. The three main types of line are actual line, implied line, and psychic line.

Actual lines are very obvious. The eye can easily follow the design to its height and width. Actual lines sets up the skeleton of the design. Actual line flowers can be curving and flowing within the design. Implied lines in floral design provide a pathway for the eye to follow but no actual line flowers are there. Although carnations are not line flowers per say, if they are cut one taller than the other that can create a line effect. Greenery can also create a line effect. As our eyes connect the upward graduating carnations we see a line result. The third kind of line is the psychic line. This is a line that does not exist, yet we feel the line outcome. Psychic designs are made by placing flowers in a manner that directs the eye up and throughout. Two tall birds of paradise can be placed high in an arrangement, while all other flora materials are rather short and to the base. The two tall birds of paradise create a visual line and bring the visual path upward. Many oriental designs use this technique.

Line direction is where flowers placed in the design giving the arrangement vertical direction, horizontal direction, or a diagonal line. Line materials also place curves into the flower design. Without line in a design, we would not have any fluid movement. Our eyes would be stuck and not circulate throughout the design to see the whole image we are trying to create.

Have fun with line flowers. Go as tall as you want. As long as a design is balanced with focal and filler flowers most designs work. Practice and play with color and texture. Have fun and dare to experiment!

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