At some point in the last 50 years, one of the most beautiful forms of art has become corrupted. An exercise in celebrating natural beauty has been invaded at its very foundations by a giant synthetic block of plastic.
How has happened?
Well it made sense at the time. It happened during a period of history last century when inventions of convenience took centrestage. But only now, as we are starting to see the horrific consequences of our plastic use in the natural environment, in particular the marine environment, are such inventions coming into question.
It is not the fault of florists. At some point the education system adopted foam as the material of choice for arranging. It made sense: it made the process of floral design much more accessible. It gave users confidence that the vision they wanted to achieve could be possible.
The more widely available foam has become, the more people have adopted to using it as a base for arranging. These days, anyone can walk into a fabric or craft shop and buy a block for their use at home. But where are the instructions? The information about how to handle and dispose of the product? It starts as a solid but ends up in a liquid, crumbled into tiny fragments. How does the person at home receiving the arrangement know what to do with it and the foam filled water after the flowers have died? How do florists know what to do when industry-wide practice has always been to flush the used water down the sink?
People have been arranging and enjoying flowers for a long time before the invention of foam. Flowers have always symbolised life, beauty and fertility and reminded us of the transient nature of our life. We are all for celebrating the artform of flower arranging and the sublime pleasure that is simply enjoying flowers for all their inherent attributes.