Dutch flower art, brief history
This page contains following subjects:
- Fast development
- Styles today
The Dutch flower art is based on a strong structure of education. For more than a century flower art courses are given. Diplomas in levels from basic till Dutch master florist have a strong tradition. This means the Dutch florist and his staff can have a good education, to do a good job. In the Netherlands there are courses for almost the start of twentieth century. The florist association is taken exams since 1926. There are many styles coming from the past often created with many flowers like Biedermeier style, Mille fleur style, classical one sided triangular style, as well all kind of hand tied bouquets, cascade forms and so on. Since 1960 there is a big change after the Floriade flower exhibition in Rotterdam. New styles like linear, parallel and elegant open designs became slowly popular. Because of the use of a new product ‘Oasis foam’ it was easier than ever before to create a nice flower arrangement. Creative designers developed all kind of new mechanics and styles. A few examples: decorative, vegetative, linear, parallel, neo-cascade, floral objects, and of course al kind of free style experiments. The life of a florist became more interesting and creative.
The development in flower art go as fast as never before. We cannot permit ourselves to stand still. Trends, mechanics, design, color and the use of materials are in dynamic movement. New is in the focus. It is an exiting time for the creative floral artist. The Netherlands develop many trends. The Dutch flower art is based on a good education system. The highest level is Dutch master in flower art. or ‘Erkend bloemsierkunstenaar’ (Proeve). De SOB/EFDA takes exams. VBW/SOB are doing this since1926.
Nowadays there are a wide variety of styles and variations in flower art in the Netherlands. We see a huge collection of accessories, equipment and mechanics to make it possible to create all we want. Mechanics like bindings, constructions, frames and gluing are changing flower art dramatically. The influence of general design elements like color and composition play a great role in the individual work of the florist. Of course the Dutch have a good eye for the development in trends in interior, fashion and architecture. Art developments, the view of trend watchers are an important element in the actual style of flower arrangement. Besides this it is also more important to have a good presentation of the arrangements. Finally a flower arrangement must have a function in a setting in an interior, by a party, by a wedding or funeral. As we can see the trends are developing in different directions in the same way as trends in the interior.
The variety of flower arrangements is very wide. We still see as most important the hand tied bouquet, arrangements with many flowers, but also single flowers in a nice vase. Often also in a group together. Exotic flowers like Zantedeschia, Anthurium, Heliconia, Strelitzia give a special effect in a contrast with other materials. The power of the little accent in the interior is popular. But a big part of the customers is still a lover of blooming bouquets and arrangements. In Holland we have since a few years a special design team for trend presentation, we call it the impulse team. It is organized by the Dutch florist association. Important is also the trend promotion done by the Dutch Flower Council. Twice a year they publish a few trends, based on the result of the ideas of trend watchers.
Finally the florist must consider how he can develop a more own personal style and identity in his shop. More important in the future will be to set the trends by us, an individual style. We must not always follow, but create by ourselves. This means that education and permanent training is the key to success.
Newest development in The Netherlands is Environmentally friendly flower design, introduced by Aad van Uffelen in 2002.
Floral masters from the Netherlands travel since many years around the globe to demonstrate, teach and inform. The Dutch diplomas of flower art will guarantee further development and beauty of flower arrangement. More and more schools and countries want to start these Dutch courses.
Lamber de Bie,
Dutch Master Florist.