How to Arrange Symmetrical Floral Arrangements

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When two sides of an object are similar in form, they are symmetrical. Symmetry is pleasing to the eye, and is appreciated in everything from furniture to facial features. It lends a sense of balance and beauty wherever it is present. Floral design is just one of many artistic pursuits in which symmetry plays a role. While asymmetry has its place in floral design, some degree of symmetry is generally required to balance out even the most deliberately off-kilter arrangements and create a pleasing floral display. Follow these guidelines to make a symmetrical floral arrangement.

Things You'll Need

  • Water-filled container
  • Assorted cut flowers and greens
  • Florist's knife or scissors

Making Symmetrical Floral Arrangements

Choose a container for your floral arrangement, such as a vase, basket, or ceramic bowl.

Select flowers and greenery that will stand at least twice as high as your container after the bottom 1 ½-to-2 inches of their stems are trimmed.

Place greenery in your container so that it extends an equal distance on all visible sides. If you are making a 360-degree arrangement, the greenery should protrude an equal amount all the way around. If you are making a one-sided arrangement, the greenery should extend an equal amount on the right and left sides.

Echo the shape of your greenery with flowers. For a 360-degree arrangement, place flowers all the way around, making sure they all extend an equal distance from the container. For a one-sided arrangement, place flowers of equal lengths at the right and left sides.

Keep the flowers and greenery in your arrangement tall enough to suit the container. The space between the container’s mouth and the tops of the flowers should be equal to, if not more than, the total height of the container. Using flowers that are too short for the container works against symmetry.

Make the total width of the arrangement twice the width of its container.

Tips & Warnings

  • Focus on shape, rather than content. In floral design, symmetry is more about the overall shape of an arrangement than about the specific types or colors of flowers used. Establish the arrangement’s shape through the container and placement of greenery, and echo it with flowers.
  • Note that symmetry should apply to the top and bottom halves of an arrangement—the container and the flowers above it—as well as to its two sides.
  • Don't be too rigid when creating a sense of symmetry. Flowers are natural, and they lend themselves to slight irregularities and imperfections.
  • Arrangements that are strictly symmetrical can lack visual interest. Placing two tall stems of the exact same type and height on both sides of a floral arrangement may be symmetrical, but it also creates an undesirable, TV antennae effect.
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