For centuries, artfully arranged flowers have helped bouquets send a message beyond their simple visual beauty. While the Victorian language of flowers can be used to encode a very literal message; red carnations for ‘yes’ and yellow carnations for ‘no’ and so forth; a beautifully arranged bouquet can send a more subtle message of peace, tranquility, and the kind of serenity that natural beauty can provide to an interior. More than just a simple decoration, zen bouquets inspired by Asian traditions can make a soothing and elegant statement in a home, office or any indoor space.
Graceful zen bouquets often include unusual and exotic floral choices, including tall and elegant bamboo, ruffled ginger blossoms, and even showy decorative artichokes. Flowers are chosen to emphasize harmony and balance through contrasting and complementing combinations of color, texture and shape. Zen flower arrangements seek to strike not only balance, but beautiful harmony between dark and light, smooth and rough, high and low. Florists often rely on the color wheel to choose simple but bold combinations of two or three colors that contrast for a look that is both vibrant and harmonious. Simple color contrasts between dark shades and bright whites can be enhanced with more advanced contrasts such as pink and green, or purple and gold, which are often used by interior designers to make color schemes both beautiful and interesting.
A truly zen arrangement includes creative design choices informed by a sense of tradition and the principles of design. Many zen designs use the principles of ikebana, or traditional Japanese flower arranging, to give the bouquet ideal shape and harmony. Traditional Japanese bouquets are most often vertical rather than bunchy, involving high, medium and low elements that represent heaven, earth and man. The differing heights contained these traditional Asian arrangements allow the florist more artistic freedom, and these beautiful zen arrangements often have a modern and statuesque aesthetic. Ikebana relies on a minimalistic approach to the art of flower arrangement in order to emphasize shape and line and promote an appreciation of natural beauty. The vertical shape and striking silhouette of ikebana designs offers a fresh and unique alternative to classic western floral arrangements, which can often look stiff, stuffy and crowded.
With the growing popularity of ikebana and other Asian floral traditions, it’s easy to order zen flowers online or find them locally. Many florists will even design artistic custom arrangements that embody the zen principles of peace and harmony. Zen bouquets are a great way to strike a balance between interior design and the natural beauty of the outdoors.