Mixing colours – How to create a harmonic flower arrangement?
“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.”
Luther Burbank – American botanist, horticulturist, and pioneer in agricultural science – Born in 1849
We agree with Mr. Burbank. A beautiful bouquet can brighten even the gloomiest days and brings some great feelings to everybody around it. It would be amazing to have exuberant, fresh flowers delivered to your door every week. However, sometimes you just want to add a nice touch to your house in an elegant way. If you ever felt confused about how to create a harmonic flower arrangement, this article is for you.
First things first: Maurice Wynne, multi-award winning Dublin florist, explains what a Colour-Wheel is and how to use it to create a flower arrangement.
This basic colour wheel is a distinct advantage when creating floral arrangements. There are many combinations one can use to achieve a great effect. I would suggest for the beginner: try to split the colours into three groupings – warm, cool and neutral. Warm would be hot pink reds, oranges, and yellows. Cool would be blue to pink, and neutral “achromatic” would be greens, greys, and browns.
What colours of flowers go together?
There are countless combinations one can use. A top tip for the beginner is to start with monochromatic, single colour compositions. Pink, lavender, and mauve, for example. Use colour at its full spectrum strength as well as its tints and tones.
Later, one can try different harmonies such as yellow and purple or pink and orange. This is one of the strongest harmonies to work with, probably only second to a primary colour harmony (red, yellow & blue).
When working with such harmonies, a simple rule would be to use more of the lesser colour and less of the greater colour.
In an arrangement, for example, this might be 50% blue, 30 % red and 20% yellow – blue having the lowest level of luminosity and yellow with the highest.
Yellow reflects most of the light. Therefore, it’s most visible, so if you have too much of it, it will detract from its neighbour flowers.
How many colours should we use in an indoor arrangement?
Colour made easy is stay monochromatic, and the easiest composition of all would be white.
For the more advanced colourist, take the rooms décor into account, and match whatever colour is used the least in the room, perhaps that of the cushions or curtains.
What are the most popular sets of colour per season?
Spring: Lime and lemons
Summer: Fresh lime greens, yellows, hot pinks and vibrant oranges
Autumn: Burnt oranges and scorched earth colours along with ruby reds and mustards
Looking for more inspiration? Here are some names of flowers separated by its colours:
White Flowers – roses, chrysanthemums, lilies
Yellow Flowers – sunflowers, carnations, dahlias
Blue Flowers – eryngium, echinops, scabiosa
Red Flowers – roses, gerbera, geraniums
Purple Flowers – limonium, astrantia, allium
Orange Flowers – papaver, tagetes, calendula
Pink Flowers – astilbe, bouvardia, antirrhinum
Remember: to have a beautiful homemade flower arrangement, use two or three varieties of flower and don’t forget to add some foliage. Be brave and play with sizes and textures. Happy arranging!
Read our article: How to keep your flowers fresh longer.