The earliest known flower arranging dates back to ancient Egypt. Egyptians were decorating with flowers as early as 2,500 BCE. They regularly placed cut flowers in vases, and highly stylized arrangements were used during burials, for processions, and simply as table decorations. Illustrations of arranged flowers have been found on Egyptian carved stone reliefs and painted wall decorations.
Flowers were selected according to symbolic meaning, with emphasis on religious significance. The lotus flower or water lily, for example, was considered sacred to Isis and was often included in arrangements. Many other flowers have been found in the tombs of the ancient Egyptians, and garlands of flowers were worn by loved ones and left at the tombs.
Flower arranging arrived in Europe around 1000 CE, and was particularly popular in churches and monasteries where flowers and plants were used for food as well as for decoration. As crusaders came back from the MIddle East, they brought with them new and interesting plants. As a result, European countries began experimenting with plants that were previously unknown to them.