fbpx February 2019: Floral Design | The Morton Arboretum

February 2019: Floral Design

Did you know that Floral Design Day is celebrated on February 28?

A vase filled with colorful flowers including a sunflower and rose

Floral Design Day is celebrated annually on February 28 to honor Carl Rittner, founder of the Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston, Massachusetts. The holiday was officially proclaimed by former Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld in 1995.


Flower arranging has been practiced by many cultures for centuries. The ancient Egyptians are considered to be some of the first flower arrangers. In the tomb of Perneb (ca. 2381–2323 B.C), carvings depicts lotus blossoms and and buds arranged in bowls, demonstrating the Egyptians use of floral arrangements in their rituals and customs.

A black and white photograph of part of the tomb of Perneb. The photograph depicts a hieroglyphic  of a vase with flowers coming out of it. The hieroglyph is cracked down the center.

Photograph from the Metropolitan Museum of Art


Floral design is an artform and craft that has been practiced for centuries throughout various cultures. Like today, flower arrangements had diverse uses throughout ancient cultures. They are seen in weddings, funerals (or other post-mortem ceremonies), religious celebrations, and as decoration. 


If you are interested in learning how to hone your floral design skills, consider taking a class at The Morton Arboretum!

Sweet Valentine Fresh Floral Design

Carnations, roses and greens are arranged in a vase with heart candies.

There are also resources available through the Sterling Morton Library!

Tips and Techniques
Arranging to Inspire Peace, Beauty and the Everyday Sacred by Anthony Ward*
Being with Flowers : Floral Art as Spiritual Practice - Meditations on Conscious Flower Chic &
Unique Flower Arrangements : Over 35 Modern Designs for Simple Floral Table Decorations
by Julie Collins and Tina Parkes*
Creative flower arranging : floral design for home and flower show by Betty Belcher
Floret farm's cut flower garden : grow, harvest & arrange stunning seasonal blooms by Erin  Benzakein
The Flower Chef : A Modern Guide to Do-It-Yourself Floral Arrangements by Carly Cylinder*
Flowers Every Day : Inspired florals for home, gifts and gatherings by Florence Kennedy
Jane Packer's Guide to Flower Arranging : Tips & techniques for beautiful flowers with more than 25 step-by-step projects by Jane Packer*
Knack Wedding Flowers : A Complete Illustrated Guide to Ideas for Bouquets, Ceremony Decor, and Reception Centerpieces by Sharon Naylor, Rich Penrose, and Anna Adesanya*

Chinese Floral Arrangement by H.L. Li
Leonard Tharp : an American style in flower arrangement by Lisa Ruffin Harrison
Japanese Flower Arrangement: A Primer by Ellen Allen*
Symbolism in Flower Arrangement by Ervin Ferry

The art of arranging flowers; a complete guide to Japanese ikebana by Shōzō Satō
Bamboo baskets : Japanese art and culture interwoven with the beauty of ikebana by Maggie Oster
Ikebana: Asian Arts and Crafts for Creative Kids by Shozo Sato*
Ikebana: The Art of Arranging Flowers by Shozo Sato and Kasen Yoshimura*
Keiko's Ikebana : A Contemporary Approach to the Traditional Japanese Art of Flower Arranging by Keiko Kubo and Erich Schrempp*

*Access the Library’s e-book collection by entering the number on the back of your Sterling Morton Library card.