Monday, July 20, 2009

The history of floral design

The history of floral design:

One day while the girls & I were designing flowers for an upcoming wedding we fell into a discussion about the history of floral design. When did floral design begin, who invented it, we wondered?? Our first thoughts were that it started in Europe around 16th or 17th century. We felt this could have been the start considering how many artists depicted flower arrangements in their paintings. Then we also considered India, after all, we know that flowers are very important in their wedding ceremony – perhaps they started floral design? We also wondered – who opened the first florist shop. Now, I’m thinking I may have some luck finding where it all began but, can I really figure out who opened the first shop and where??
I told the girls that as soon as I had some free time I would do some research online and see what I could find out.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that floristry has been traced back to the Egyptian Period (2800 BC to 28 BC). Apparently the Egyptians would decorate their guests with garlands and wreaths for ceremonies. Plus, they’d use flowers for decorations on banquet tables!
During the Greek Period (600-150 B.C.) the Cornucopia was invented. I found this extremely interesting considering we still see this design every Thanksgiving.
Ancient China, Han era, ~207 BC, the Chinese were making arrangements in vases.
It was during the Renaissance & Baroque periods that floral design as we know it really came about. This is when paintings depicted flower arrangements filled with roses, poppies, anemones, ranunculus, etc. took place.

Floristry as we know it now in America:
On August 18, 1910, fifteen American retail florists agreed to exchange orders for out-of-town deliveries. Originally called "Florists' Telegraph Delivery", FTD was the world's first flowers-by-wire service.
Floral design became strong and gained interest in America after WW1, this is when garden clubs started to form and judging guidelines were introduced.
After WW2 transportation from overseas increased which introduced exotic blossoms to American floral design.

I’m pleased with my new found knowledge. However, I have yet to find the answer to my other question: Where was the first flower shop and when did it open? Anyone have some insight for me??

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