Scale and Proportion

There are three size relationships to be considered in a floral arrangement.

1. The relationship among flowers and other materials used as com­ponents of the arrangement. To illustrate, the arrangements shown throughout this chapter have the smallest flowers at the top and edge of the design; intermediate sizes follow; and the largest flow­ers are at the center or focal point. Such a use of flower sizes follows the sequence by which blossoms unfold in nature and is termed transition. Regardless of whether the flowers and foliage are of the same species throughout the arrangement, the traditional sequencing of flower and leaf sizes is an important concept if scale and proportion are to be maintained.

2. The relationship between flowers and their container. Neither should overpower or be dwarfed by the other. There is one widely accepted measure of correct scale (Figure 7-7). If the container is taller than it is wide, the height of the arrangement should be at least one and one-half but no more than two and one-half times the container’s height. If the container is wider than it is tall, the arrangement height should be at least one and one-half but no more than two and one-half times its width.

Scale and Proportion
Scale and Proportion

figure 7-7. How to determine the correct height of an arrangement (Delmar/Cengage Learning)

3. The relationship between the finished arrangement and the situa­tion in which it will be used. A dinner table arrangement should not encroach on the guests’ plates with its width, nor be so tall that guests cannot see over it. A corsage should not be so large that it pulls the fabric of a gown with its weight. An arrangement of vio­lets can appear to advantage on a bookshelf in a small room but go unnoticed in a large entrance hall. Conversely, an arrangement designed to fill a window seat in a Victorian home would nearly fill a small dining room in an apartment.