Three standard geometric shapes lend themselves naturally to flower arrangements: the circle, the triangle, and the rectangle. All lend them­selves to the creation of symmetrical, formal arrangements. All are easily modified into informal arrangements as ovals and asymmetrical triangles (Figure 7-10).

These six standard patterns form the foundation of American floral design. The refinement of these geometric forms has been the major contribution America has made to worldwide floristry. The patterns are made up of six basic lines which are universal in their origins and appli­cations. While limitless variations of these lines exist, the aspiring floral designer needs to begin with a knowledge of the basics (Figure 7-11).

Once the basic patterns and lines are understood, it is easy to ana­lyze the composition of most floral arrangements. For example, the lines of a symmetrical triangle arrangement are seen to be that of a balanced, inverted T. An asymmetrical triangle has a right angle. Rectangular arrangements employ either the vertical or horizontal lines. Circular or oval patterns are built around the crescent or Hogarth curve.


You should now apply this information by analyzing the arrange­ments pictured in Figures 7-10 and 7-11. Determine which basic lines are shaping the patterns. Note the forms of the flowers used, their sizes, and numbers. Note also their placement within each arrangement. Even though the photographs are black and white, the principles of design should be apparent. Find the focal point of each design and assess its types of balance. How have simplicity, scale and proportion, and rhythm and line been achieved?

figure 7-ю. Standard patterns of floral arrangements (Delmar/Cengage Learning)


Diagonal Equilateral triangle Fan

figure 7-11. Basic lines of floral arrangements (Delmar/Cengage Learning)