Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden. As a special challenge Cathy has suggested we create an Ikebana-style floral design this week.
Ikebana is a fascinating art form, a centuries-old, Japanese flower arranging discipline with strict rules that followers may spend a life-time trying to master. Though not having that background, I admire the aesthetic, which emphasizes asymmetry and open space and seeks a harmonious balance among the container, materials and overall surroundings. There is a quiet, meditative component to Ikebana as well that I find appealing.
This design began with a stalk of canna with two large leaves. I made parallel cuts into one side of the darker, shorter leaf to create a fringed effect. The idea was for the fringe to fall evenly spaced along the right-hand side of the design. It looked beautiful for a very short time before it began shriveling and curling. Unlike Aspidistra which can withstand this type of manipulation, the canna leaf displayed distress immediately but retained an interesting character nevertheless.
The canna stalk was inserted first, positioned in the kenzan to the right at a slight angle and back. Next several thin stems of pure yellow Rudbeckia laciniata were secured slightly left and forward. Additional rudbeckia flowers were placed low to meet the edge of the container.
The open and playful form of the rudbeckia is in contrast to the broad, heavy leaves of the canna, yet they hold equal weight in the composition.
A small amount of orange Asclepias works as an anchor and helps tie the design to the container.
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) (Orange Glory Flower)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
blue/brown ceramic circular dish
black, round self-contained Kenzan (flower arranging frog)
Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging interests. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what Ikebana inspirations she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Feel free to join in.