Flower arrangement is a design of beauty. It is essentially a decorative piece and should be the centre of attraction. An arrangement can be composed of only flowers and or foliage or in combination with vegetables and fruits.
Flower arrangements have an ability to introduce a personal touch in an otherwise staid and impersonal hotel room. Arrangements can be used in lobbies, restaurants, suites etc.
Guests appreciate flowers for the freshness they bring to the surroundings. Arrangements need not be reserved only for parties or special occasions. They can be used regularly depending upon the season and the theme. Unconventional and dry material can also be used to make arrangements which are more economical and last longer.
Also Read: Formal and Informal Styles of Gardens
The role of flower arrangements in housekeeping is integral. The décor and ambience of a hotel defines its character. Flowers not only enhance the environment, they also make the guests feel better, happier and helpful. Flowers are widely used for interior decoration providing an aesthetic appeal to any environment.
Flower arrangement is an art and it is widely used in hotels. Flower arrangement is the art of organizing and grouping together plant materials to achieve harmony of form, color, and texture. Flowers add beauty, life and happiness to the ambiance.
A flower arrangement is a decorative organization of flowers, which enhances the beauty and charm to any area. In a hotel, flowers are used extensively. There may be a large arrangement of flowers in the foyer and in lounges and restaurants, as well as smaller arrangements in the suites. Some hotels provide a bud vase in every room.
VIP rooms may even have more than one arrangement. It gives a personal touch to the guests, as these are natural and gives fresh environment to the room or other public areas.
Various types of arrangements are chosen, as appropriate to the area and occasion. Medium-sized ’round’ arrangements are often provided at the guest relations’ executive’s desk in the lobby and on coffee tables in the lounges. In most five star hotels, one can see huge, spectacular arrangements in the lobbies.
Restaurants generally have bud vases on each table, with one or tow flowers in them. Table arrangements for conferences must be low so guests may see over them. At informal banquets, large arrangements may be seen. At wedding banquets, wall arrangements using gerberas are very popular now a days.
On special occasions and festivals, a large amount of flowers is required for making up various types of arrangements – some hotels even make beautiful traditional flower carpets for the lobby.
Room attendants themselves can do simple arrangements such as a bud in a vase. Alternatively, flower arrangements may be provided on contract, in which case the arrangements are brought in and taken away at agreed times and little or no floral work is carried out on the premises.
The staff of the flower room should be given training to make the variety of arrangements as one type of arrangement gives a monotonous look.
Principles of Flower Arrangement
The principles of design are applicable to flower arrangement as well. Design determines the structural pattern of the arrangement. It consists of the relationship between the flowers, foliage and containers. Any design can be produced i.e. suitable to the occasion and the surroundings.
Design is determined by site of placement, function and materials available. Arrangements may have also to be two sided or all round.
Balance: Materials should be placed to give a feeling of stability. Form and colour are important aspects of balance.
- Formal balance or Symmetrical Balance: In this type, both sides have equal material on either side of the central line. The flowers should have equal visual weight and colour.
- Informal or Asymmetrical Balance: In this, two sides are not equal but still have equal visual weight. Dark colours give an effect of more weight than light colours. They should be centred low in the arrangement. Lighter colours give an impression of lightness and are more suitable towards the outer and upper ends of arrangement.
Scale: It means proportion and relationship of the various parts of the composition. The plant material has to be in proportion with the container used and the sealing of the plant items with each other must be kept in mind along with the site and function.
A flower arrangement is of good proportion when it is of right side for the container and placement.
Rhythm: Rhythm can be described as a sense of movement, which flows through the main lines of the arrangement. The purpose of it is to direct once eyes along it so that the shape of the entire composition is followed and understood.
In flower arrangement this is achieved by grading flowers and arranging foliage, leaning towards the sides. These lines partly decide the design of arrangement.
Focal Point: It is the central point of arrangement where emphasis is obtained by large accented flowers, group of flowers or use of darker colours.
Harmony and Unity: Ensure that the materials are suitable for the site and the occasion. The colours of the flowers and the container should blend with each other easily or provide a pleasing contrast with each other and with the background.
Unity of materials is necessary to view the arrangement without any distraction from the main line of movement.
The Basic ingredients required for flower arrangements are as under:
- Plant material
Mechanics: These are items used to keep flowers, foliage, and stems in place within the container. Mechanics must be fixed securely and should be hidden from view.
Examples – florists’ foam (oasis), pin holders (Japanese term – kenzan), chicken wire, prong, adhesive clay and tape, florist cone.
Floral foam, also called oasis, is a cellular plastic material, available in two types – green foam and brown/grey foam.
Pin-holders, also called kenzan or needle-point holders, is a series of sharply pointed pins are firmly held in a solid lead base, to hold thick and heavy stems securely by impaling them on the pins.
Chicken wire, also called ‘wire mesh’ or ‘wire netting’, is a fine- gauge wire used to cover floral foam blocks in large displays.
Prong is the simplest type of floral foam anchor. It is a small plastic disc with four vertical prongs. The base of the prong is attached to the container with adhesive clay and the floral foam is pressed down onto the prongs.
Florist’s cone, also called a ‘flower tube’ or ‘flower funnel’. It acts like a miniature vase. It is used in large arrangements, where foliage or flowers need to be placed above their stem height.
Equipment: This includes tools used to ensure t hat a satisfactory arrangement of plant material is created within the container. Examples – bucket, scissors, knife, watering can, mister, wire cutter, cocktail sticks, turn, wire, floral tape, candle holder, cut flower preservatives, and secateurs.
Mister: It is a hand- held spray bottle to produce a fine mist of water droplets to keep an arrangement look fresh in warm weather.
Secateurs: They are used to cut through thick and woody stems Cocktail sticks or a tooth pick: It is used to make holes in florists‘ foam for a soft stem of flower.
Cut-flower preservatives: It is a bactericide, available in powder or liquid form, to prevent slime and smell from developing in the vase water, plus sugar to prolong the life of fresh flowers. A preservative can be made in-house by adding 3 teaspoons of sugar and 1 drop of bleach to half a litre of water.
Containers: These are receptacles that hold the flower arrangement. They may or may not be hidden by the plant material. The container must be waterproof and neutral colours such as soft grey, dull brown, off-white, or earth colours are most suitable because they are inconspicuous and do not detract attention from flowers displayed. Theme and simplicity should be kept in mind while choosing the design of the container. Example – vases and jugs, basket, bowls and trays, wreath frame etc.
Bases: An object that is placed underneath the container to protect the surface of the support and/or to add to the beauty of the display is called a base. Example – table mat, tree section, wood base, stone base, and oriental base.
Support: This refers to the structure on which the container stands. Example – tables, sideboards, alcoves, and shelves.
Other equipments: Florists tape, foam, water spray, rubber bands, tooth picks, thin wire, rocks, pebbles, accessories like birds, butter flies, figurines, sheds etc. A sink, running water and working surface with storage area must be provided.
These can be divided into 3 basic types-
- Flowers (dominant/ focal/ point material)
- Fillers (secondary material)
- Foliages ( line material )
Flowers (dominant/ focal/ point material) – This consists of bold flowers or clusters of small showy blooms. The dominant material provides a centre of interest.
Example – Gerbera, Chrysanthemum, lilies, Anthurium, Tulips, Poppies, Roses, Dahlias, and Daffodils.
Fillers (secondary material) – This consists of smaller flowers and all sorts of leaves and foliage that are used to cover the mechanics and edges of the container and also provide added interest and colour to the display.
Example – Asters, Ivy, Button Chrysanthemum, Carnations, Gypsophila (Baby‘s breath), Limonium and Marguerites.
Foliages ( line material ) – This consists of tall stems, flowering spikes, or bold leaves that are used to create the basic framework or skeleton. This line material may be straight or curved and it sets the height and width of the finished arrangement.
Examples – Gladioli, birds of paradise, golden rods, larkspur, asparagus ferns, palms, tuberoses, and Peruvian lilies.
Accessories: These are non-plant materials included in or placed alongside the arrangement. Their purpose in generally decorative but could be functional at times. Accessories are added to the design for extra interest or to ‘stretch’ the flowers when they are in short supply.
Example – miniature dolls, hats, ribbons, beads, painted wire, wooden fruit shapes, silk flowers and foliage, candles, driftwood, shells, idols, interesting pebbles etc.