A Brief History
Have you ever wondered where flower arrangements originated from?
The earliest known flower arranging dates back to ancient Egypt to 2,500 BCE. According to historians, Egyptians were the first known florist by trade and were commissioned to create highly styled flower arrangements for burials, processions, and table decorations.
They would carefully select flowers based on symbolic meaning with an emphasis on religion, and would regularly place cut flowers in vases to decorate and add colour to their environment.
GREECE & ROME
As time went by this practice was adopted by the ancient Greeks and Romans. They would use flowers to create and wear wreaths and garlands. They would use fruits and vegetables mounded in baskets or spilling out of a horn-shaped basket (cornucopia) as several arrangements for religious offerings. And they would incorporate herbs and olive branches with their flower design.
One of the most recognizable and popular ornaments was the Laurel wreaths which were created and presented to athletes who won the ancient Olympics. Also known as the “Hour of Rose,” during their meals, Romans would dress their tables with their favourite flower, the rose.
Being a florist in China brought great honour, respect and merit. Dating as far back as 207 BCE, flowers were widely used in medicine and part of religious teachings. Practitioners of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism would place flowers at their alters. Similar to the Greeks and Romans, they would place fruits and very colourful flowers in cone shape designs, chalices and urns. The more commonly used flowers were lilies, cypress, coronations, pine and “The King of Flowers”, the peony.
By 476 AD flower arrangements reaches Europe and gain popularity in churches (herbs were used as spiritual symbols) and monasteries (where flowers were used as decoration but also as food). Decorating balconies with flowers and petals in baskets was an inviting sign to your home. The most popular flowers were lilies, pinks, iris, jasmine, pansies, French marigolds and rosemary.
Italy was the first country in Europe to incorporate flowers in paintings by painting flowers in vases, which in turn created a need for floral design. By the 15th-16th centuries, flower arrangements were much more common and a large variety of materials were available to make containers such as marble, heavy Venetian glass and bronze.
Floral design keeps evolving. Florists inspire themselves from various countries and art techniques that help them create beautiful and sophisticated arrangements for an array of events. Flower hybrids were created to allow us to have seasonal flowers available all year round. Growing techniques evolved and materials like Floral Foam, shaping wire, and individual water phials help to give us unlimited ways to create beautiful floral arrangements that can last longer than ever before, from a simple ornament in our home to gorgeous flower bouquets at a wedding.
Resources: 1, 2, 3, 4
EVENT – An Evening with Gerry Arial (The Silver Rose)
Wednesday, August 25th at 7 p.m.
Spend an evening with world-renowned florist and fellow member, Gerry Arial, as he teaches you the ins and outs of basic floral design.
Join him as he guides you through the process of designing a home arrangement that your guests will no doubt think you have purchased from the best of the best.
Gerry will help you understand and navigate the design process from start to finish touching on selecting the right flowers to the importance of vase preparation and selection and finally to the size and placement of the final masterpiece.
This event is at no cost to members. Did we mention there will be door prizes too?
Join us on Zoom! Meeting ID: 864 2713 9690 | Passcode: 123456