People have long used flowers to decorate their surroundings and to observe special rituals. Two styles of flower arrangement are recognised as Asian and Western. Asian flower arranging emphasise simplicity and the lines of just a few blooms, while the European or Western style uses a mass arrangement, where large groups of flowers and colours are placed together. Today, Western flower arrangements include traditional, natural, linear and modern styles.
The traditional flower arrangement styles are European. The Flemish style is where a mass of different flowers are grouped in a round form. In the Mille de Fleur style, flowers such as roses and carnations are arranged in a circular shape. The Beidermeier style is where specific flowers form a circle, with many lines of circles using different flowers. This style is distinctive for its clean and clear look. The Phoenix style uses a round shape, but tall vertical flowers are intermixed. The waterfall style is when flowers or other materials fall over the edge of the vase. Flowers are arranged in layers in a tall container.
The Landscape style is a natural flower arrangement, where elements of nature are combined with flowers. Twigs, stones and branches are used together with blooms to create a natural looking landscape. The Botanical style is when you recreate your garden in an arrangement. You use blooming and closed buds, and the roots of the plants may still be intact. Also, in the Botanical style elements of nature may be incorporated. The Vegetative style is when flowers are placed in a linear fashion as if they were still growing in the ground.
Different styles are grouped in the linear style of flower arranging. The New Convention is where flowers or other natural materials are arranged vertically and horizontally but do not intersect. The Western Line typically uses an "L" shape for flowers. Some flowers are grouped vertically, while some are horizontal to create this shape. A Parallel Systems style is when specific flowers are grouped parallel to each other, without convergence. The Linear Rectangular style uses an emphasis on a display of lines within a confined space.
The contemporary or modern flower arrangement style is influenced from the Asian or Japanese styles of flower arranging. Florists such as Kenneth Turner of London are breaking from the traditional Western style rules of flower arranging. Using creativity and a free style, modern flower arranging styles are typically asymmetrical. They may not use of a large mass of flowers, like traditional arrangements, and they highlight a few blooms with other natural materials. Many modern arrangements are tall and structural.