Definition: Parallel designing may be formal or informal. In either case it is the repetition of vertical lines placed in parallel that is the dominant factor of this design. You should use straight materials with nothing radiating. Placements usually in a low container are rectilinear. Floral foam can be masked with foliage, moss, stones, tiny plants or short stemmed flowers. Grouping of one variety of plant material can be used to achieve stronger visual impact. The difference between formal and informal parallel is that with informal you can have some material extend over the edge of the container. In a formal parallel design you must keep within the bounds of the container.
From the Australian Floral Art Association manual. Please check your local judging rules before entering a competition.
Class title: Informal Parallel
Staging: bench, space allowed 60cm, judged from front
A groom from a recent wedding client gave me this container. It is a hollowed out piece of sandstone which I have been very keen to use in some way. This informal parallel design was an ideal opportunity as it has the rectangular shape that lends itself to this design style.
The hollow in the stone is filled with floral foam that has been covered with small stones in the same colour as the container. Straight stems of protea are grouped together along with a smaller grouping of protea flowers and another with red flax to carry through the colour of the protea. To turn this from a formal to informal parallel I have wound a small piece of vine through the bottom of the design, some of it coming over the edge of the container.
Judges feedback: A strong design in the informal parallel style. Perhaps a slightly deeper container would give more depth to the design, although the container used does add a natural feel to the design.