Charlotte Moss Flowers
“The creative urge is strong in us and among the strong emotions of the human heart is the love of beauty and a desire to create beauty.”
– Constance Spry
I believe there to be two schools of thought on the subject of flower arranging. I have studied the history of flower arranging, observed the work of those I admire, and have examined the work of the great flower painters all the while practicing almost my entire adult life. Books and observation have been my silent, visual tutors.
As with much in life there is always a school that plays strictly by a book of rules burdened with preconception and concern for conformity. The get-out-the ruler-and-protractor-set, study-the-playbook-line-by-line manner of arranging inhibits spontaneity, experimentation, personalization, and ultimately joy. Then there are the ones who basically threw the same book out the window, and that would be me. I have not always been the wayward type, but when it comes to creative endeavors, I need breathing room.
Flower arranging should be a joyous activity, something to look forward to and provide hours of pleasure. It should not be fraught with anxiety and nail biting. I do understand some people get worked up. There is no test to be passed, no jury to examine, just you. So, if you are from the former school, perhaps you tuck that rule book away and just let the flowers tell you where they want to be. Books and rules are good to guide you, but they should not dictate.
Rules on volume, composition, shape, color, and suitable containers tend to make me squirm. All I want to do is gather my basket and shears, head to the garden, snip, and head to the flower room with whatever moved me. Likewise, in the city, at the florist or our local market picking up what appeals is when the fun begins. Over time and with practice you will develop your own style, learn what works together, which flowers require the tall vase, which ones like breathing space. All of this, let me repeat, all of this, comes with practice and trial and error. Beware of too much thinking, give your instincts a chance.
Flowers have personalities. Tulips prefer vases straight up and down for support so they can continue to grow as they do. Small flowers, such as violets, almost require bundling so they stay together in a vase like a nosegay; a bearded iris sometimes just wants to be alone, while roses, the queens of the garden, can do just about anything they want. What does all this mean, this flower talk? It means: relax, have fun, let your eye and the flowers guide you. Remember, they are flowers, one of mother nature’s most ethereal and glorious creations.
Text from Charlotte Moss Flowers.