By Diana Mosher
One thing that has kept me sane over the last five months of sheltering at home is going into my backyard every day to “smell the roses.” (I don’t actually have roses, but flowers in general give us a sense of lifecycle that goes beyond the uncertainty we are experiencing this year. One great gift of this time is the opportunity to take in the beautiful flowers that go by the hashtag “#flowersontheway. In every neighborhood I’ve seen while biking (another virtue of pandemic) there are amazing gardeners who brighten their streets with flowers.
Diana asked me to write about the relationship between flowers and interior space—and why flowers are important to the overall impact of design. Floral design is a unique alchemy of geometry, architecture, choreography and nature’s directives. As in most art forms, it is key to consider the context of one’s creation. An effective floral arrangement reflects and augments its environment.
There are 400,000 species of plants. Approximately 150 flowers are grown in the U.S. Just roses have over 150 varieties (with thousands of hybrids!) We have access to a huge spectrum in the U.S. So many varieties are imported from South America, Holland and Israel. And, if one is (appropriately) concerned about carbon footprint, there are thousands of local farms where gorgeous, seasonal flowers are available. So Many Choices!
Just as people have different tastes in color, texture and style in wall treatments, furniture and lighting, so too they have preferences in flowers and how they are put together. Even if they don’t realize it, almost everyone has a relationship with flowers. As a floral designer, I find that the more specific/particular my clients are, the easier my job. Rather than getting lost in the dizzying, dazzling beauty of the flower market, I go with a specific mission to capture the client’s vision.
Leaving scent out of the equation for a moment—as it has enormous impact (sometimes positive, sometimes not)—there are many, many different approaches to and schools of floral design. Here are just a very few examples.
Each of these designs signifies a particular aesthetic that can be adapted to fit into or contrast with the environment they will live in. The really joyful fact is that flower arrangements are relatively ethereal. Generally, a week is the expected “shelf life.” So different interpretations of the space are possible.
Finally, there is the proven, scientific effect of flowers. They actually lower your blood pressure. Our primitive brain sees flowers and knows that fruit is on the way. While we may not be hunters and gatherers, flowers are especially useful in these anxiety-ridden times. We all need to have something in our environment that reduces stress and makes us happy to be home.