by: MARYLOU COFFMAN
Flower arranging is the art of organizing the Elements of Design within the plant materials and other
components, according to the Principles of Design, to attain beauty, harmony, distinction and expression.
Design is the plan that brings order to our arrangements.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
The elements are line, form, size, texture, pattern and color. These are the working ingredients for floral
Space is the unoccupied areas in and around the design. There are three kinds of space, Total space is the area available to the designer. In a rose show, it is the space allotted to each arrangement. Another kind of space is that controlled by the arranger within a design, using plant materials and other
components. Space is organized to establish balance and proportion and to achieve interest in the design. Plant materials have different space sizes and shapes, determined by their growth habits. Most of these spaces are open. Control of these spaces is through pruning, shaping and placement. Other
open, closed or enclosed spaces are controlled by the arranger through the placement of design components and the shape and size of the container and the design style. Line is the one-dimensional path through the design, it establishes the structural framework of an arrangement. It has length but little width or depth. The design can be long or short, straight or curved, weak or strong, thick or thin or bold or delicate. The line can be vertical, horizontal, curving or oblique. A vertical line is uplifting, forceful or inspirational. Horizontal lines are restful, quiet and indecisive. Thin lines are less forceful than heavy lines. Lines that curve upward appear alive while those that curve downward appear wilted and depressing. Diagonal lines suggest excitement or daring. Zig-Zag lines can be humorous, fun or confusing.
Form is the shape, the structure or outline of the arrangement. It is three-dimensional. It has height, width and depth. An open form has spreading parts producing spaces between parts. An
open form appears lighter in weight than a closed form of the same size. A closed form is solid, compact, massed with very few open spaces. Most flowers have form but leaves usually have only flat shapes with width and length but not thickness.
Line and line-mass arrangements are open form and have an open silhouette; mass arrangements are closed form and have a closed silhouette.
Size is the physical dimension, there is both actual and visual size of line, form or space. The visual size can be influenced not only by physical dimension, but by color and texture. Warm color seems large and dominating while cool colors appear to recede or be neutral. Rough texture will appear larger than a
smooth plane, a shiny texture will appear to have more weight than a matte finish. Placement of materials can affect visual size.
Texture is the surface quality of a material. It can be rough or smooth, coarse or fine, glossy or dull, hardor soft, shiny or matte. Rough, coarse textures make areas appear heavier, smooth or shiny textures make areas appear larger. Since light is reflected from the entire surface colors can appear stronger.
Coarse textures are weak and dull. Textures can modify form and color. Contrasting textures add interest to a design.
Pattern is the silhouette outline of the design as well as the inner outline formed by the placement of theplant materials and the shapes of the plant material themselves and other components of the design. Plant material, containers, and other components form a pattern of completed design when they have been combined into an overall pattern or silhouette.
Color is the most important element in a design. Color is the visual response to reflected light rays and triggers emotional response as well. Hue is the name of a color. Each color has two physical properties. Value is a color’s lightness and darkness. Tint is a light value, the result of adding white to the hue. Shade is a dark value, the result of adding black to the hue. Chroma is the brightness or dullness of a hue. Tone is color with neutral gray or complimentary color added. The primary colors are red, yellow and blue. All other colors can be created from these three primary colors. Secondary colors are orange,
green and violet. Intermediate colors are blue-green, red orange, and yellow- green. Neutral colors are black, white and gray. Advancing or stimulating colors are the yellows through orange and red. Receding colors are cool green through blue to violet. Colors are used to suggest feelings, emotions,
moods and ideas through association. Contrasting colors may provide stimulus or excitement.
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
The principles of design which govern good planning of arrangements are the governing principles of all
visual art. The principles of design are balance, dominance, contrast, rhythm, proportion and scale. These six principles are the basic standards that govern most of our designs.
Balance is the visual stability of an arrangement achieved by placement of design components. There are two kinds of balance.
Symmetrical is achieved by placing equal weight either actual or visual on opposite sides of an imaginary central axis. The design should balance from top to bottom, side to side and front to back. Both sides of the central axis should have like materials placed in a mirror image of each other.
Asymmetrical balance is equal visual weight on each side of the imaginary vertical axis, although unequal in physical weight. Denser, bolder forms, larger sizes, darker colors and coarser textures appear heavier than their opposites. Axis is not necessarily in the center of the design.
Dominance is the stronger effect of one component in a design than of another. It can be the use of one element than of another, such as color, form or texture. Dominance is important in establishing unity; it requires subordination to emphasize the dominant effect. Roses are always dominant in any arrangement for a Rose Show.
Contrast is achieved by placing opposite or unlike elements together in such a way as to utilize their differences to create interest. You can have contrast in textures, color, size, shapes or lines.
Rhythm may be achieved by having a dominant visual path or movement that carries the eye through the arrangement. Rhythm is the path that draws your eye to the focal point. There is movement both away from and back to that point. It can be the result of repetition of line, color, form and texture.
Rhythm can be obtained by gradation, with a gradual change in size from large to small, heavy to light, coarse to fine, dark to light or color to color. Traditional mass designs depend on gradation for rhythm.
Proportion refers to the amount of anything relative to the amount of something else, and of each of them to the whole. The amount of plant material in relation to the size of the container. The height of the arrangement relative to its width and the whole design relative to its background, frame, niche or pedestal. In a conforming and pleasing proportion, an arrangement should be at least one- and one half times the greater dimension of the container, plus its other dimension(height or width). Proportion refers to the amount of plant material in comparison to the container, rough texture to smooth texture and dark colors to lighter colors.
Scale is size only and is closely tied with proportion. In practice, proportion is so dependent upon sizethat proportion and size are usually considered together. The size relationship of each component in a design to the container and to the other components within the design should be in good proportion. To
be considered in scale are the size relationship of plant materials to each other and to the container; the
size of accessory and base to the design as a whole; the size of the design to its position whether in aniche or on a table.
With practice, a little skill and attention to the elements and principles of design, you soon will be able design a beautiful arrangement.
ARS Guidelines for Judging Rose Arrangements
This is the best time for making rose performance observations! A visit to The Rose Garden at MCC
provides us an opportunity to observe and learn which roses are performing the best to the
characteristics we are looking for in growth and size of the plants, flowers, color and even disease
resistance. With nearly 400 varieties planted, there are lots to see that are excellent performers and
those that fall short of excellence. With the price of roses at least $21 up to nearly $50 in the nurseries, it
makes sense to plan and choose carefully. In visiting several nurseries and garden centers I am seeing
varieties that may grow well in other climates but do not perform well in our Sonoran Desert weather, no
matter how hard I try to make them grow and produce beautiful flowers. The rose garden has many of
the latest varieties to be introduced as well as new test roses being evaluated. The AGRS test garden
area and the Sonoran International Rose Trial Roses both have some roses that I would like to have in
my garden at home and some that I am glad I don't have.
There are several very satisfying reasons for shopping locally, including that we can see the condition of the plant before we buy and the (almost) instant gratification of such a short time between choosing and having it planted in the garden. It is especially satisfying for many of us to support nurseries that are locally owned.
Berridge Nursery – best known as the local source for bare root roses which usually begin arriving in
the store in December and are mostly gone by mid to late January. They also carry a sizeable stock of roses in containers year-round (not that we recomend planting year-round.) On Saturday mornings in
January they offer presentations by local consulting rosarians.. Discount on roses and rose-related products with the presentation of MEVRS membership card.
4647 E Camelback Rd
Whitfill Nursery - Three locations, container roses only, usually older varieties, conventional choices
and landscape roses
820 N. Cooper Road
Gilbert, AZ 85233
824 E. Glendale Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85020
Main Tree Farm
2647 E. Southern Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Treeland Nurseries - Carries some landscape roses and related products.
2900 S. Country Club Dr.
Mesa, Arizona 85210Phone: 480.497.2525
Summer Winds Nursery - They carry roses in containers, some landscape roses and an interesting
variety of others. Three locations in the Valley including:
3160 S. Country Club Dr.
Mesa, AZ 85210
Lowes and Home Depot do carry a selection of roses in containers in their garden centers, mostly
landscape roses, all in containers. Home Depot has begun carrying some of Ping Lim’s series of True
roses. Stay away from their so-called bare root roses, the ones with both canes and roots over-pruned
crammed into those plastic bags. They require so much babying and often are never as vigorous and
those in containers and true bare roots.
As we face October, it is still hot, and enduring this seemingly endless summer requires such patience. We and our roses have all had enough:
the children are sort of back in school, virtualvacations are over, the days are growing shorter, Halloween decorations and costumes fill the
stores. It’s fall – isn’t it? Not quite. And until both days and evenings show significant cooling, the roses will not welcome any radical actions from us. Do your best to back off until the daytime highs drop into the 90s consistently and the
overnight lows are at least down to the 70s. Still, there are some things you can do for your beleaguered plants. Pay attention. Walk through your garden regularly. Go out early in the morning before breakfast, when temperatures are coolest.
Watch for signs of water problems, for spider mites and chilli thrips, and for beneficial insects. I have often found that after my roses have struggled through an exceptionally hot summer, some will die in
October. Water, water, water. Continue with your summer water schedule until day and night
temperatures drop significantly. As the days grow shorter, check the “start times” on your irrigation system controller so when they run
you are awake and can keep an eye out for leaks and broken sprinkler heads. Watering in the heat of the day leads to substantial water loss through evaporation and the possibility of scalding the leaves. Twice a week continue to use your garden hose and water wand to direct a strong spray of water to the undersides and then the tops of leaves, washing away dust and breaking up the colonies of spider mites and such.