Asymmetrical designs of other kinds are delightful in low containers, as the Japanese have shown, and these can be used in many different ways. Simple decorations based on linecan be used to tell a story, to make a nature picture or to evoke a mood or atmosphere for a special occasion. These are specially rewarding in winter and early spring when the fact that so few are needed in such arrangements is a great advantage.
There is something extremely satisfying on a dull winter’s day, to search the garden, hedgerow or common for materials—a branch or two of some brave, burgeoning shrub, a windfallen branch of larch cones, a colouredeven if it comes only from the outside of a cabbage, a mossy stone or two—and then to take just a few blooms (even those from a house-plant if no others are available) to add a note of floral colour to the collection. From this handful of such simple ingredients it is possible to create a picture, a still life which can be the essence of the season.
Those who enjoy modern settings may like to experiment with abstract arrangements. Here again one describes the style of the arrangement with the minimum of materials. The voids remaining, the spaces between twofor example, are the shape and the body of the arrangement. These are arrangements from which as much as possible is abstracted and yet the result is pleasing and evocative.
Many arrangements consist of patterns applied to patterns. One might make a background triangular in shape, of some long-lasting foliage perhaps, and on this arrange brighter or contrasting materials inside an outline of a different shape. Sometimes this is done with intent, but often one finds that it has happened quite naturally. It is a style worth studying, especially if you are an arranger who has to buy flowers.