Principle – what an interesting word! In life, there are many meanings for the word principle. In the floral world, principles are the guidelines for creating visually attractive floral compositions. Here at Flora Elements, the definition of principles is a set of rules that you may bend to your liking after you have understood and mastered them all, listened to your heart, let your fingertips feel all the textures, and allowed your eyes to be focused and balanced and opened the portal to envisioning a work of art when you see buckets of flowers. Simple, right? For many people, floral design comes naturally, while others must learn step by step and repeat those steps many times. If people all learn by using the same book, why are there are so many variations of floral design? As children, people are encouraged to be an individual, express themselves, and let the world know they are not cookie cutter versions of anyone else. This encouragement is especially prominent in the world of art. So, why should floral design be any different? Floral design is art after all! Principles and elements of design are put into place to offer a guideline that if people decide to go to competitions, they are all judged by the same standards. If people choose to play outside the box and abolish all the rules what does society say about them? Exactly! Each person is an individual, one of a kind, unique. How does a person succeed in this world with the labels that are put on them? I, Lisa Belisle, the proprietor of Flora Elements, strongly believe that a solid foundation of knowledge and skills is crucial before an individual can stretch, bend, or break the rules and remove the limitations that limit him/her. Principles and Elements provide florists with the knowledge of floral design mechanics. For example, when a person looks at a large floral structure, he/she may wonder how the designer put that together. The viewer may form a positive or negative opinion of the structure based on learned floral design principles. The viewer will evaluate the tools and supplies and their effectiveness by looking at things like foam, containers, tape, wire, and other materials that were used to make the floral structure under inspection. A beginning student must understand the principles, tips, and tricks to avoid flowers dying quickly, damage being done during delivery and set up, and to prevent the consumer from making a snap judgment that the floral product created is not worth the quoted price. In every Flora Elements class or workshop, the principles of floral design are stressed in a very gentle way so that each student learns properly from the start. The production techniques that are used are always evolving so if there is a new and better way, we will present that technique along with the traditional way.