Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden.
Last weekend my good friend Susan and I took a short trip to Creedmoor, NC, to browse the handmade American crafts at Cedar Creek Gallery. If you have a few minutes to learn about this unique place, I encourage you to watch this 4:33-minute video and you will certainly want to visit too.
Having in mind from the outset to shop for a new flower vase, I returned home with three prizes, all Ikebana vases with integrated pin frogs. I had spotted them immediately upon entering the gallery, just inside the front entryway. After admiring many other beautiful pieces, I returned to those that first caught my eye and prepared to make a selection.
I chose a black triangular vase and a blue rectangular one. With me vacillating among other choices of designs, my friend stepped in at my moment of indecision and treated me to the third vase as an early Christmas present, a triangular shape decorated in the blue wave pattern. Thank you Susan!
I had planned to make only one arrangement today but this type of vase does not hold a lot of material. And there were plenty of flowers left over to use in experimenting. I never felt any of the three were quite finished, rather I just finally stopped working on them for now.
The first vase holds two red gladiolas (the first of 30 planted in mid-June just coming into bloom), a large orange cactus zinnia, a sprig of orange peppers and a red dahlia. This design went through many iterations, even some made digitally, to explore the composition and proportions. If anyone is curious I included some of the design stages at the end of this post.
The next vase began with an interesting seed pod rescued from a recently bloomed canna. I think the pod has great potential but I allowed that tallest zinnia to distract from it. It is less worrisome in person though.
The bright yellow zinnias are from a Burpee Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ packet. This year I also planted ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ zinnias from Burpee and Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ from Botanical Interests.
Yellow celosia adds movement and energy.
The third vase is sprightly and pink. It is the only one where I used foliage, cut from Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata.’ The flowers are zinnias, obedient plant and verbena bonariensis.
Canna Seed Pod
Capsicum annuum ‘NuMex Easter’ (dwarf Ornamental pepper)
Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ (Winter daphne)
Fresh Look Mix Celosia (citrus colors)
Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant)
Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Zinnia ‘Cut and Come Again Mix’ (Burpee, popular cutting variety, 24” H)
Zinnia ‘Burpeeana Giants Mix’ (Burpee, colorful huge 6’ Blooms, 24” H)
Zinnia elegans ’Cactus Flower Blend’ (Botanical Interests, 4-6” wide, 2-3’H. Heirloom Twist and shout. Double and semi-double)
Porcelain Ikebana vases, Georgetown Pottery, Maine. Rectangle Blue Zen (6.75L x 3.75W x 2H inches), Triangle Blue Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H), Triangle Black Wave (6.5 W x 6.5 L x 2H)
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.
Notes On Design Progressions
In the sets of images below, the ones on the left are photographs of the actual arrangement while those on the right are imagined.
The first set show the earliest version of the red design. It was only after viewing photos that I noticed the design looked too heavy on the left side. I ending up reworking it several times.
In post-production I edited the photographs to imagine making different cuts than what I really did.
Here is an intermediate version on the left (the real thing). I had shifted the orange peppers to the right and added some Daphne greenery to improve the balance of the composition. Again the images on the right show some imaginary changes to the design through digital editing. I was reluctant to trim down the gladiolas but in fact they were too tall for the vase. Trimming the top of the left-leaning gladiolus improves the design. If I had done that and then lopped a little from the top of the center glad as well, I would probably have been happy with the design.
In my final version of the real-life arrangement greenery was removed. The orange ornamental peppers moved to the back where they got somewhat lost. The gladiolas were shortened. After trimming and repositioning, the gladiolas relate better to the size and shape of rectangular vase. The glad on the right crowds the dahlia, but I can live with it.
Orange and red sing to me – gorgeous, Susie 🙂 Happy Monday!
Annette, I heard the same song. Was determined to use that orange cactus zinnia with the red gladiolas this week. Hope you have a great week too!
All three are stunning Susie. Love the new ikebana vases! Wonderful combinations of shapes and the colour themes are so warm and sunny this week too. You really are quite expert at arranging and so often provide me with inspiration. 🙂
Cathy, thanks for the nice comment. I feel far from expert but enjoy the struggles. The new vases were fun to try out.
I have a rock with a hole similar to your Ikebana vases. I wonder if I could find little frog teeth to put into the hole. I like the delicate idea of ikebana. Happy monday.
Hi Lisa, it would be great to find a frog to place into the rock. Would be a great container. Have a good week.
Love the vases and I think Blue Zen is my favorite.
Blue zen is a nice one, but I had a hard time leaving any behind!
Sometimes you just need more!
These are all adorable Susie – I love the shape and colours of your vases and must look for similar ones myself. I have a circular green one but it really does look ‘cheap’ (which it was) whereas yours look so stylish. Thanks for sharing the process of tweaking with us – most interesting to follow your though processes and I love all three vases. You are such a good contributor to our meme as you have a wealth of knowledge and exprience to share – thanks again
Thanks Cathy. The vase will be handy. I enjoy participating each week in IAVOM. Sometimes the vases don’t end up as I’d conceived them, but there’s always some fun and something to learn.
Yes, we have come along way since our first few IOVOM vases, some further than others 😉
I will be looking forward to how you continue these lovely Ikebana vases in the future. You are certainly off to a grand start.
Thanks John, I’d been looking for something similar for a long time. Didn’t expect to come home with 3 but am still smiling.
What a great group of vases and nice memories of a day with your friend as well. I have a couple of similar vases and think they are not the easiest when it comes to making a satisfying arrangement. I think you did well and I especially like the final red and yellow groupings. Those glads and Zinnia really sing.
Hi Linda, the vases were quite a bit harder to use than I’d expected, so it was interesting to read your comment about them. Will be fun to experiment more with them and learn their personalities. Hope t have more gladiolas soon. Also still have some I didn’t get planted but may try them anyway.
These are lovely, Susie. Just by coincidence, I was in a gift shop on Friday and noticed a few of these ikebana vases. I love the built in frog.
I really like the cactus zinnias, esp. the lemon yellow one, a beautiful soft color. The blue wave triangle arrangement makes me think of flowers next to a stream – very Zen!
Thanks. I”d had my eye on these vases online Eliza so it was easy to snare me into buying them when I came across them in person. The cactus zinnias have exceeded my expectations this summer.
These arrangements are all wonderful, Susie! I have a slight preference for the third but I think that has more to do with the appeal of the colors than the alignment of the elements. I was very intrigued by the mechanics of your adjustments to the first arrangement (although I rather liked the greenery you deleted from the final version!). Which digital editing program do you use? It’s scope, as well as your skills there, vastly exceed my limited capabilities in that area but it’s something I’ve become more interested in.
Hi Kris. For experimenting I used Affinity Photo, very inexpensive yet powerful, available from the Apple iStore. One of the tools is called “inpainting” and it can remove obstacles from an image. Let me just say I don’t edit out weird problems from my flower designs normally, but it did help me examine these designs and think about changes I could have made. Watch the first minute of this Affinity tutorial and you’ll get the idea how easy it is. https://vimeo.com/130966523
These Ikebana vases are a wonder!Great vases, Susie!
Thanks Anca, they’ll be useful.
Very elegant flowers and beautiful new vases. How lovely to have the patience to arrange and then rearrange something like this. I love your final picture with the greenery removed. Gorgeous!
Thanks Gillian. I spent way too much time on these flowers, but enjoyed it.
They are all beautiful but I especially love the gladiola. I planted some bulbs this year but so far no flowers. I really enjoy seeing yours. 🙂
Thanks Judy. Hope your gladiolas flower soon. I have a few more to plant but better hurry, hadn’t I?
What great new vases, and I love where you got them. It would be nice to see more of these co-op type galleries around.
The zinnias look perfect. Mine are beginning to bloom, but nothing as elegant as your flowers.
Frank, I agree it’s nice to support this type of gallery so artists can earn a living. Zinnias this year are better than usual.
How interesting. I had to look very closely and read your description to figure out what was different. Beautiful vases. I’ve never seen any like that before. Great flower choices, too.
Oh Beth, it was so hard to convey those varying stages of the design. Thanks for trying to follow along. I think the vases will be very useful.
Just one more! I know the feeling and your friend was quite right to ‘force’ a third one on you. I love the last one because of the colours of the flowers. Thanks for posting all three together.
Hi Noelle, yes please, one more would be nice! The flower colors really determine the mood don’t they?
Nice. I like the blue vases and the deep red Gladiolus.
Thanks Jason. That gladiolus is such a rich color.
Your vases! your lovely friend! your rich and stylish arrangement! all gorgeous – I would have wanted all three vases as well! Thank you for taking us through your design process. Sometimes the fewer the blooms the longer it takes to get it to one’s satisfaction. You did a great job!!!
Glad you enjoyed seeing some of the design decisions. Turned out hard to explain. I agree with you about using fewer blooms–each placement takes on more importance.
The red arrangement has me by the throat and won’t let go…brilliant!
Thanks Ricki. Glad you like it. That’s the one I hovered over the most but sadly it’s fading first.
So elegant and architectural.
Thanks. The porcelain vases have an implicit formality I think that guides the rest of the design.
Stunning! I just love those vases, so unusual.
Thanks. I think I’ll enjoy these vases a lot.