Flowers That Bow to Ikebana (17 photos)

Simplify with highs and lowsAny basic ikebana arrangement usually incorporates at least three different types of flower stems with varying lengths. Each of these represent key elements within the arrangement: The tallest stem points to heaven, the middle-height stem represents man and the shortest symbolises earth.ADAPTION: When choosing cut flowers keep this concept in mind, selecting flowers that offer different lengths, even if you are just plonking them all together in a vase. When upright, the flowers will be displayed at different heights, allowing them all to be viewed from most vantage points.Reflect on the past Choose your bloom to represent thoughts of the past or hopes for the future. Flowers in full bloom are said to represent the past; those in half-bloom represent the present; and those still in bud represent the future.ADAPTION: Choose a sprig or even the branch of a flowering fruit tree, such as cherry or peach, in a bud (closed, just open or in full bloom) that suits your mood obviously, this works best in spring.Create poetryIkebana is a lot like haiku. There is a restraint in the elements within the arrangement but ultimately the art of creation is about capturing a specific moment in time within a natural setting, even creating a mini landscape. Additionally, its essential to create harmony between the flowers and the vase or container its in, as well as blending in with the rest of the decor in the room.ADAPTION: Although this potted plant is not a floral arrangement per se, the orchid pictured here embodies many of the tenets of ikebana. The pot and plant has been chosen to complement the decor.Power up with odd numbersIkebana loves the power of three, and this can be represented very simplistically. Here, tall vases with single vertical blooms enhance the loftiness of this living room and its high ceiling. ADAPTION: The repetition of an upright arrangement will also work in clusters of other odd numbers, such as a group of five or seven.Layer the arrangement In ikebana, flowers are arranged in bands, each of which points to the natural order of the world, and is meant to replicate harmony in nature. This order means that a plant found on a mountain should be placed higher than one found in the marsh. ADAPTION: Try this with Australian flora; eg, white snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora) at the top, flannel flower (Actinotus) at midway and Sturts desert pea (Swainsona formosa) at the base.Create a cutting gardenSelect an uncommon container The vases commonly used for ikebana vary depending on the season. During summer baskets are popular, during spring and autumn ceramics are chosen while in winter a metal container is preferred.ADAPTION: Stick to the concept of seasonal choice, but find a container common to your own surroundings that was originally made for a different purpose, such as a jug or a bucket you could even disguise a glass vase with woven or thatched materials.DIY project: painted flower potsBe seen from all sidesSo that it can be appreciated from all angles, ikebana is meant to be three-dimensional. This means that you should place your floral displays where they can be viewed in the round, for example, on a table in a wide hallway as pictured here. ADAPTION: Note in this example, that just one floral variety has been chosen perhaps because whoever executed the arrangement was so excited by the dramatic colour contrast created between the spray of vibrant yellow flowers and the elaborately patterned blue ceramic jars. While there is little structure to the arrangement, there is certainly a nod to the ikebana principle of less is more.Suit the seasonAs ikebana is about capturing a specific landscape or a single moment in nature, just like a haiku, it makes sense to use flora that is in season to create a poetic vision of the natural world. ADAPTION: When it gets cooler and the leaves in your garden begin to turn yellow, orange or red, nip a few thin branches off your favourite deciduous tree and warm up your homes decor with their cheery autumnal colours.Look for lovely leaf formsWhen making plant selections that adhere to ikebana principles, consider the shape and form of the leaves and other parts of the plant as well as the flowers. Since ikebana is minimalist in style, you can even make up an arrangement with a careful selection of stems and leaves, foregoing any blooms at all.ADAPTION: Native species often have interesting leaves, such as the serrated leaf of Banksia, as seen here. Some plants even sport flowers that look like leaves, such as kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos).Style it straight and tallThere are various forms of ikebana. Heika is one that highlights the vertical. It is ikebana at its most basic as well as being very traditional. To place further emphasis on the tasteful and elegant structure that this style of arrangement creates, place your flowers, leaves, tendrils and twigs in a tall and narrow vase. ADAPTION: Dont limit your selection to flowers, when a couple of well-placed stems will add instant height and structure to your display. As seen here, canes of bamboo have been used in this arrangement; consider other hardy stems that grow in your garden, such as reeds.Trail awayIn ikebana, the nageire style is largely an informal arrangement that is often asymmetrical. For this reason, its often characterised by cascading flowers and leaves, even hanging fruit. ADAPTION: Strictly speaking, this style has a main stem flower that hangs lower than the rim of the vase, but a more casual look can be achieved with any flexible cut-flower and floppy leaf or fern material.Keep it simpleNageire can also be arranged in an upright style as long as it follows the concept of being free form. It is easily adapted to contemporary tastes, because it often only has one flower or element (leaf, tendril, twig) placed in a narrow-mouthed vase, thus creating an arrangement that is typically suited to minimalist decor.ADAPTION: Ikebana is often about the sculptural elements of natural flora. The twists and turns of tendrils or the woody curve of a branch covered in spring blossom are perfect choices for an ikebana-like display.Spread outThe moribana style is nearly always arranged in a shallow container, but the flowers can either be in an upright display or spread out. The latter style includes branches that slant out sideways, at an angle to the flowers. Use a small flower frog or needle spike in the shallow dish to hold the flowers in place.ADAPTION: Orchids may work well, but smaller flowers can be placed in bunches within the shallow dish to create islands. You can even surround these with pebbles or glass marbles.Go organicIn ikebana, you can use any plant material thats organic choose from flowers, leaves, reeds, twigs, fruit, grasses or branches.ADAPTION: Try an arrangement made from man-made items, of say plastics, paper, textile and metal, or a combination of both organic and man-made elements.TELL USDo you have any fun tips for arranging flowers in your home? Wed love to see your spring flowers, so please add your snaps to the comments section below.MOREBloomin Marvellous Ways to Arrange Fresh Spring FlowersSay It With Flowers: Give Yourself a Lift With a Little Floral WhimsyTop 10 Scented Plants for Your Garden href='' - -