The best type of flowers for flower arrangements varies depending upon the style and purpose of the arrangement. Some of the most common flower arrangements in the West are bouquets given as gifts, centerpieces, and wreaths, and all of these may be used for different occasions for which different types of flowers may be appropriate. The style of flower arrangements also comes into play; for example, the traditional Japanese art of flower arrangements called ikebana customarily employs a different range of flower types than those common in Western flower arrangements.
The most common flowers for flower arrangements include roses, lilies, tulips, and irises. Other types of flowers are popular for certain styles or occasions or may go in and out of fashion, however, these four are some of the staples of flower arrangements. Traditional Asian flower arrangements make use of native Asian flowers such as iris and lotus blossoms. Flower arrangements for holidays or specific occasions may call for a certain type of flower, such as poinsettias for Christmas, roses for Valentine's Day, or white lilies for a funeral.
When making flower arrangements, choose flowers that complement each other in color and shape. To make an eye-catching arrangement, use flowers in various stages of bloom, with the fully open blossoms in the center as the focal point of the arrangement. Do not arrange all the flowers to face in the same direction, as this can look monotonous, and balance colors evenly throughout the arrangement. Incorporate both long and rounded shapes, and use greens for filler, perhaps with a few different textures.
When choosing flowers for an arrangement, it is important to be aware of any connotations they may have for the recipient. You may simply like the look of red roses, but the recipient is almost certain to take them as a declaration of love, so be sure your intentions match. The language of flowers often varies cross-culturally, so while white roses may mean purity to someone who grew up in the West, they may be an omen of death to someone from an Asian background.
Cultural meanings aside, you are limited only by your creativity when designing flower arrangements. Some florists make their arrangements stand out by including quirky elements such as coxcomb or colorful peppers.