Andreana Bitsis

How The Art of Making Bouquets is Changing (For The Better)

If you’ve been on Instagram in last few years, you’ve come to expect a certain kind of bouquet– you know the one. Stems of dusty eucalyptus, plump white roses, sprigs of fresh greens like rosemary, perhaps a pale dahlia if it’s in season. For those that are new to the world of flowers, this is a relatively familiar norm– but this new style actually represents a rather monumental shift away from traditions of old.

In a recent article for The New York Times, Deborah Needleman traces the changing mores of flower arranging. She writes of these new bouquets:

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“On just the level of style, these arrangements — loose and fluid and highlighting the beauty of their individual elements — are a vast improvement over the less fortunate floral trends we’ve suffered through: Recall those fads such as stems held in bondage by swathes of foliage, or tight mounds in which the blossoms just barely scaled the edge of the vase, or Pop Art installations in which bright blooms were used for nothing more than Crayola-like graphic patterns. If you consider the materials those florists were working with, it’s analogous to chefs cooking only with canned fruit and out of season tomatoes. In the current floral industrial complex, everything we admire about a fresh flower — the fragrance, the delicate structure, the fleeting beauty and connection to season and place — is bred out so that the flower can be inexpensive, long lasting and easily shippable. Most of our cut flowers are imported from Latin America, where labor is cheap, working conditions harsh, regulations lax and chemicals prevalent — and that’s just the growing part. Then, after being jacked up on fungicide, dunked in vats of preservatives and jostled and manhandled for about a week, these odorless, uniform, sturdy flowers with their enormous carbon footprint come to rest in our florist’s hands or in our homes. Nice.”

For more insight into the theories of lush, organic floral design, check out our Florist Friday Interview series. For more of Needleman’s analysis, read the rest of her article here.

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