The Eternal Flowery Triangle

The Eternal Flowery Triangle

You are almost certain to find that many of the arrangements you begin quite casually finish up by being those whose outlines are not circular but triangular. This is really quite logical. If you follow the rule of first getting the centre stem in place and then arranging the side stems, inevitably you have described a triangle. The manner in which the intermediate stems are arranged will decide whether you go on to fill in the triangle or whether you change it to a semi-circular, ovoid or semi-oval outline.

I am continually surprised by the number of my own home arrangements which end this way and one has only to walk round an exhibition of flower arrangements to see that this is the most popular shape. I have heard it called the ‘eternal herbaceous triangle’. This triangular shape must satisfy some spiritual need in us. After all, church spires and many of man’s religious monuments and symbols have a triangular outline. However, the triangular flower arrangement is not necessarily traditional or symmetrical. There are many arrangements of great diversity based on this shape or which fit into a triangular outline.

The triangular outline does not necessarily have to rest on a base drawn across the rim of the container. Sometimes it may not be apparent at the first casual glance that an arrangement actually lies within a triangle, but it is surprising how often it does.

Flower arrangements in low containers tend to have to rely more on line and ‘atmosphere’ than do most of those in taller vessels. As a rule one finds that the ‘eternal triangle’ proves naturally to be the most engaging and rewarding pattern for these. This is especially so when one uses a low rectangular container because the basal line of the vessel quite naturally becomes the base of the triangle.

Influence of the container: The style of container one uses has a great influence on the style of the arrangement. It is possible to repeat the traditional patterns in other containers, to make an all-round arrangement in, say, a deep ashtray or to make a faced arrangement in an oven dish, but in either case we would be wasting the potential of both the flowers and the vessel. Being tied to one or two types of container means being restricted in the kind of arrangement one makes. The more containers at one’s command the more interesting, varied and beautiful arrangements can be.

The container will also affect the proportions of a flower arrangement; these are best based on the measurement of any container taken at its broadest part. The tallest stem should never be less than one and a half times that measurement. However, sometimes, according to the materials you are using, you will find that it can be very much more and still look pleasantly in proportion.

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