Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.
Though the house is filled with a cheerful and lively abundance of Shasta daisies, echinacea and gladioli, for today’s vase I chose to concentrate on making a design that would be spare and constrained.
A long shallow dish with a metal interior was the inspiration and starting point, countered by a fan of gladiolus foliage standing upright at one end. A small but heavy Kenzan vessel was used to hold the leaves in place. One leaf was bent into a loose, circular shape, while another was manipulated with angular cuts. Small black stones were scattered out from the base of the Kenzan.
Next a lemon yellow celosia was added near the base, followed with a flower from a Ruby Slippers oakleaf hydrangea and the top of a white gladiolus holding three blooms.
A long stem of Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea) with new and aging flowers was inserted close to the gladiolus stems, its position secured into the Kenzan at the base and reinforced higher using a couple of the wispy sweet pea tendrils to latch on to the gladiolus stems.
Finally a woody stem of chrysanthemum foliage was bent and added to swing out across the dish to the left. One improvement I would make is to increase the length and arc of the line formed by the chrysanthemum, perhaps replacing the chrysanthemum with flowing bear grass.
Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Fresh Look Mix Celosia (citrus colors)
Lathyrus latifolius (Perennial Sweet Pea)
Foliage: Gladiolus, Chrysanthemum
shallow, oblong footed dish, metal interior and black matte exterior
black, round self-contained Kenzan (flower arranging frog)
small, black stones
The photographs tend to flatten the dimensionality of the flowers, especially that of the sweet peas.
They are reduced to shape and color creating pattern in a most interesting way.
Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging passion. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Feel free to join in.
You are so talented at these spare designs, I wouldn’t know where to start. Maybe the chrysanthemum is the only thing I think I would change, I agree with you that it needs to be more linear.
Thanks. You might be surprised how simple it is to get started with a design like this and since it’s made to be viewed from the front there are fewer points of conflict to worry about. I had made up two different vases using shasta and echinacea but was not happy with either, so decided to simplify today.
I’ve cut up and thrown away so many Gladioli leaves in the last week, I should have been keeping them to use or at the very least practice with.
Another one of those perfect Susie-Zen-moments! I agree with Christina: you’re definitely a lady of great talent, pure bliss!
Annette, you’re too kind and I’m blushing now. Thanks.
Just the truth, love your way with flowers!
Wow, a work of art!
Thank you Jessica! I really enjoy making this type of arrangement and of course I always see things in the photos to change that I hadn’t noticed before.
Goodness – I can only reiterate what the others say! How amazing and what an eye you have! I’m so glad you explained what the Kenzan was, because that was my first question. And so very interesting to use those BLACK pebbles at the base, because they give your arrangement a weight and ‘groundedness’.
Thanks very much Cathy. Kenzans are invaluable for holding the flowers securely. This one’s particularly nice because it is not just a floral pin but also a container, so I could put water in it rather than in the larger oblong piece.
I learn so much from IAVOM!
Very zoomy, Anglo/Japanese Zen.
Susie I absolutely adore your reduction vases….such creativity and beauty….this one is clever with your flower choices wonderfully displayed especially the Sweet Peas!
Thanks Donna. It’s always fun assembling materials for a Monday vase. I gathered Am. beauty berry and cleome, both of which wilted quickly during the conditioning period. The sweet pea on the other hand stood up much better than anticipated.
We are all in awe, Susie, and no doubt a little fearful of trying anything like this ourselves… pethaps I should challenge all of us Monday-vasers….? After all, if we don’t attempt it we won’t ever believe that it can be simple… Hmm, thanks for triggering that thought and watch out for a challenge… 😉
Well thank you. I find it satisfying to work this way but it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Certainly would encourage you to give it a try Cathy and see how you like it.
Wow! You have created a work of art Susie! I love the way you have made a circle out of the gladiolus leaf and snipped into the other. And the sweet pea looks as if it is suspended mid-air. I read Cathy’s comment and fear I would never have the courage to even attempt such a wonderful arrangement!
Thanks Cathy. You might enjoy working in this style but I can see how it might feel intimidating. I have a whole book devoted to things you can do to alter leaves–most are too tedious for me to consider, but some a amazing. I adore the little sweet pea–a pass-along I’ve grown for many years. Speaking of courage I’m panicking about Tues. view already!
Very elegant – it’s beautiful!
This goes beyond a vase, Susie – it’s an art installation. Your vision and skill never ceases to impress me. I love that you showed the varied colors of the sweet pea in such an effective manner.
Thank you kindly Kris. I did have an idea before I started but it evolved quite a bit as I put the materials in place. Part of the fun I suppose. Glad you enjoyed the little sweet pea, it’s my favorite part of the arrangement.
I do love the way you put flowers together in such a contemporary and restrained way Susie – so beautiful!!
Thanks Julie. the last few weeks I’d shown lots of lush, frilly hydrangeas and gladiolas, which I love, but I was in a mood to clean house and put all the extra stuff away, if you know what I mean.
This is what I call creativity!
Hi Anca, thank you very much.
Beautiful how the spare arrangement really focuses your attention on the form and structure of the elements. I love how the pea appears to be climbing on its own.
In the garden that sweet pea sprawls and drapes everywhere except on the trellis its been provided, so it was surprising how well it stood up in the arrangement.
Fabulous, so creative I learned a lot from your post. Many thanks
Thanks Eileen! Glad you enjoyed it.
Okay, now you’re showing off. 🙂 This is absolutely beautiful, but I must admit you could put sweat peas which are one of my favorites in a tumbler and you’d have my attention. 🙂
Sweet peas are amazing, I agree. Thanks.
The sweet pea is considered an invasive weed here but I may need to rethink that. As we drive into town we see it cascading over embankments in a quite spectacular fashion. I think restraint is the hardest discipline to master so I remain in awe of your Ikebana creations.
Thanks Ricki. Didn’t know sweet pea might be invasive. This one has been in two gardens and it hasn’t done much in either. I can imagine it as you described and it would be gorgeous, in the way wisteria is here.
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Absolutely LOVE it!!!!