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Traditional Mass Arrangements
by Dorothy Campbell, ARS Accredited Arrangement Judge and TCRS Member

The mass arrangement is characterized by large quantities of plant material in a full, but not crowded design. The structural lines are not as clearly defined as in line and line-mass arrangements. The strongest line, top and auxiliary lines on the sides serve to lead to eye of the viewer to the focal area near the rim of the container. Mass arrangements are usually either a symmetrical or asymmetrical triangle or oval in form.

Colors are grouped with the darker colors and larger flowers near the lower center of the design and the lighter colors and smaller flowers forms towards the top and sides. Mass arrangements have become more free flowing in placement of plant material with restraint in the number of flowers used so that each bloom has space to accentuate is own beauty.

Characteristics of traditional mass arrangements are:
1. A closed silhouette (outline of design in space around it)
2. Abundance of plant material arranged in an orderly pattern, not crowded
3. Colors and forms are grouped for visual balance and rhythm
4. Has well developed focal area
5. Gradation in color (light to dark) and in size of forms (small to large)

In a mass design you want the flow of the plant material to carry your eye through the design, with the main focal point being in front and close to the rim of your vase. The mass arrangement is my all time favorite. I love the freedom of choosing se veral different types of flowers to compliment my roses and to be able to choose many different colors and sizes and shapes and textures.

To get started:
1. Choose a container that is pleasing to you. Keep in mind its height and width in conjunction with the flowers you will be using.
2. Next, decide what roses you are going to use and remember that in all rose show arrangements, the "ROSE" always needs to be the dominate flower.
3. Now choose what filler flowers you are going to sue. If you grow lots of annuals and perennials it helps a lot. It is also great if you have neighbors with a nice cutting garden and they allow you to pick to your hearts content.
4. Good filler flowers which are easily grown in our area include: Salvia, Cosmos, Larkspur, Statice, Asters, Veronica, Coreopsis, a variety of daisy, baby's breath, astilbe, and hostas just to name a few.

Follow the simple step by step examples shown below and remember the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy what your are creating.

Drawing of Circle
and Oval Designs

Here are some examples of Traditional Mass Designs from the 2000 TCRS Rose Show:

Photo of an example
of a Traditional Mass Design from the 2000 TCRS Rose Show Photo of an example
of a Traditional Mass Design from the 2000 TCRS Rose Show
Photo of an example
of a Traditional Mass Design from the 2000 TCRS Rose Show Photo of an example
of a Traditional Mass Design from the 2000 TCRS Rose Show Photo of an
example of a Traditional Mass Design from the 2001 TCRS Rose Show

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This page last updated: May 24, 2002.
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