entertainingFood & Drinkoutdoorweeders digest

weeder’s digest: you do the math

by Grace Bonney

Nicolette and I have been up to our ears teaching at the Little Flower School. Prerequisites abound. Geometry, for example; obviously REQUIRED. But we’re not talking about your average textbook Trig, we require advanced spherical trigonometry; and if you don’t know what that is, let’s just say it’s of utmost importance in the fields of astronomy, earth-surface/orbital and space navigation and floral arranging.

Got your pencil?…and excuse me, but is that gum you’re chewing?!

The average floral arrangement consists of what we describe as a string of “moments,” (clusters of 3 or 5 flowers that relate tonally or structurally and serve as general focal points) suspended – if you will – in the spacetime-floral-continuum, and illustrated in diagram 1.1. These moments can be seen from any given angle, and change as the perspective of the viewer rotates around the axis given as the center of the arrangement and are subject to infinite interpretation depending on the history and aesthetic predispositions of the onlooker [ex. 1: Carnations may remind some of a wrist corsage given at a first dance, velvet lycra, and C&C Music Factory. ex. 2: Lilly of the valley elicits memories of grandmothers in 79% of American women].

Such moments in general follow an organizational process that can be categorized simply by a theory of Triangles (as illustrated in diagram 1.0, and not to be confused with the concept of “love triangle” or with Robert Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love ), the eye generally is drawn first to the widest base angle which we’ll call a, travels up along the a-b axis, pauses at the highest point or gesture B (a flower that perhaps extends a bit beyond), and then glides down the b-c axis. As illustrated in diagram 1.2, the arc formed between the…You know what, PASS THAT NOTE UP HERE RIGHT NOW.

Summing up, we remember that flowers grouped in odd numbers are generally easier on the eye. If you’re purchasing stems at a flower shop, buy 3 or 5 stems of ranunculus. Two stems grouped together often resemble antenna, unless you cut one significantly shorter than the other, thus mimicking the way flowers tend to grow in nature.

Now go forth and triangulate!

Note: Study arrangement contained: French Anemones, Lichen covered branches, Ranunculus, Yellow Cypress, Dusty Miller, Pine cones (wired), Astrantia, Seeded Eucalyptus, and Ranunculus buds.

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