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History Of Flower Arranging

Posted on August 3rd, 2016


Flower arranging has been around for centuries, where did it begin?

The idea of being around beautiful flowers is appealing to a large demographic of people, but did you ever wonder how flower arranging came to be? Take a moment and step back in history with us on how flower arranging began.



papyrus painting via google.com


Earliest known flower arranging dates back to ancient Egypt to 2,500 BCE.  Egyptians were the first to cut and place flowers in a vase to decorate and add color to their surroundings.

Egyptians were known as the first florists by trade and commissioned to place very high stylized arrangements around burials, processions, and table decorations. These florists would carefully select flowers that had a symbolic meaning with emphasis on religion.  A big seller was the garland of flowers worn by loved ones and left at the tombs.

Fact: Besides the Iris, the lotus flower and water lily were considered sacred to Egyptians.



Painting by Lawrence Alma Tadema via google.com

Greeks & Romans

The Greeks and the Romans used flowers while incorporating herbs and olive branches with their floral design. Romans prefered flower was the rose, these beautiful flowers were used for dressing tables during many meals due to its overwhelming fragrance, which was known as the “Hour of Rose.”

Fact: Laurel wreaths were created and presented to athletes who won in the ancient Olympics, flowers are still presented in today’s Olympic games.



Han Dynasty Flowers – Image via google.com


China was not left behind with their flower arranging dating as far back as 207 BCE. Being a florist in China, you were held with great respect and honor.  Flowers were a component of religious teachings and medicine; Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism place flowers on their altars in honor. The most typical design was a cone shape design with the most honored flower the peony, “The King of Flowers.”



Painting by Jan Brueghel the Elder, Flower Still Life via google.com


Flower arranging finally reaches Europe by 476 AD.  Flowers were popular in churches and monasteries where flowers were used for food (to eat) as well as decoration. An important part of flower arranging was with herbs, which was used as a spiritual symbol in arranging.

Italy was the first in Europe to incorporate flowers in paintings, they were the first to paint flowers in a vase, thus creating a need for floral design. Adorning your balcony with flowers and petals in baskets was an inviting sign to your home.



Image via pixabay.com

United States

Large tall flowers in a vase were a sign of wealth and success and considered “trendy” in the United States. Floral design was compact and asymmetrical and stacked tightly with many different flowers and colors for a unplanned look.

Flowers were also a sign of respect and kindness when giving as a gift during this time and created lots of need for florists. Men ideally wore a boutonniere daily during their travels, think of it as the business men attire.

Fact: A popular bouquet was the tussie-mussie bouquets, these bouquets were a must for eliminating odors in most homes during this time.

Centuries have past, but one thing remains, flower arranging is a timeless art and will continue be an important in centuries to come. Florists, do you have a favorite floral arranging history fact? Please share below with our readers.



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7 thoughts on “History Of Flower Arranging”

  1. Loved this article!

  2. Today’s trend of just picked garden flowers comes from the 1920’s when Constance Spry made this style popular, she said it was the most natural form of arranging. She would use great branches of blossom even sometimes using vegetables. If you analyse the design style, the form usually takes on a lazy Hogarth curve, often using a discord colour way to break the form at some point, with no visible focal point and cross lines. It is purely a design about the botanicals used.

  3. Beautiful blog and thanks for your continued inspiration for the love of flowers and the arts.

  4. booyegol says:

    Thanks so Beautiful

  5. Petter says:

    Can men be florists in China Or Russia?

  6. Liz D. says:

    great knowledge for florists. Thank you for your valuable information.

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