Monday, July 11, 2016

In a Vase on Monday – the Ikebana Challenge

You all know I like to participate in the weekly "In a Vase" meme, and since I've now issued 3 "Challenges" (OC&K, Poinsettia and Aeonium) of my own when Cathy (the brains behind the weekly vase posts) issued a sort of challenge, well I had to run with it. Her words: "who would like to join me in ‘having a go’ at an Ikebana style vase next week? Whether you want to go down a thoroughly traditional route or one with just a token nod at the Ikebana style is up to you – the challenge is in the ‘having a go’ at something outside our comfort zone, and just as we have been empowered to pick blooms for our Monday vases so we can be now empowered to try something a little different." So here's my Ikebana style creation, apologies to anyone and everyone who knows anything about actual Ikebana...because I clearly don't!

I looked around for flowers to use but none really seemed like they were up for it. Then I noticed one of my Hosta put out some flower spikes when I wasn't looking. Nope, not happy about that. I like my Hosta strictly foliage. Snip snip snip and I had flowers for the vase.

I knew from the beginning I wanted to use a branch or two from my Poncirus trifoliata,

And I thought about including some sort of curlicue, twisted, foliage like they do in some Ikebana arrangements but instead settled on a leaf from my favorite variegated Phormium.

The players are all anchored in a rectangular metal frog that I've had for ages. However they were still quite tipsy, and I didn't like seeing the base, so a little gravel took care of both issues.

The Hosta flowers are actually quite lovely, when you look at them up close.



One branch of Poncirus was allowed to keep its leaves.

The one with the fruit was striped bare.

The Phormium leaf naturally tapers to a point at the bottom.

The corners edged in red.

The sun spots seem perfectly placed, don't you think?

This arrangement lives on our dinging table, it's simplicity works well with the busyness all around. Thanks for the fun experiment Cathy, I really enjoyed it!

(housekeeping note: the Blogger platform seems to have gone a little mad today – photo spacing and word placement is all higgledy–piggledy. Hopefully a fix is in the works)

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

22 comments:

  1. I think your response to the challenge is terrific, Loree. Nice strong lines, that phormium is beautiful. And the spiky poncirus adds great interest. Love the white dish - completes the arrangement perfectly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Eliza! It was fun to experiment, I just hoped I wasn't offending any purists.

      Delete
  2. Good solution. I let a couple of Hostas with especially nice flowers stay but otherwise I am also a snipper. I have a couple of books on Ikebana and took a one day workshop which convinced me it was not for me. I love much of what I see done in the various Ikebana styles but I am never quite satisfied when I try it. Your foliage works especially well in this context.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. Ikebana seems a little forced for me to fully embrace it.

      Delete
  3. Trust Loree to come up with something fabulously unique!

    ReplyDelete
  4. A really strong and confident composition. The the use of gravel to hide the frog is especially effective. The whole thing is just gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words and coming by to comment, I am so excited to find your blog!

      Delete
  5. Nice job, Loree! The little Tillandsia used as a prop was a perfect touch too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was already on the table and so I just left it there...

      Delete
  6. You've risen to the challenge beautifully!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh wow did you meet the challenge....love the Phormium leaf with the hosta flowers...of course the thorny stems were a perfect addition!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thorny stems go with everything!

      Delete
  8. Your artistic sensibility really shines through; I love it. The arrangement is especially shown to effect in front of the dark backdrop you used for the 'formal portraits', as if you have your own tokonoma (alcove).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't tell anyone but it's our garage door...

      Delete
    2. Best laugh of my day so far. My, what a zen garage door you have........

      Delete
  9. A gorgeous take on Ikebana, Loree -- looks fantastic :) I love your use of the Phormium leaf.
    I've had some issues with Blogger today too: everything pushed to left of center. But your page looks fine to me as of 7:30 ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In retrospect that Phormium leave should have been cut shorter, oh well. And thank you for the blogger update. I spent the day away from the computer so it was pleasing to know things were right again!

      Delete
  10. I am so pleased you were excited about the challenge - I really do believe that it can be empowering to come out of our comfort zone. Not there was any strictness about this challenge anyway ;) Yours looks wonderfully balanced and I enjoyed hearing how it came together - and was intrigued about you always cutting your hosta flowers off... Have to admit I did cut the purple flowers of one in my green/white snowdrop border though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is one Hosta where the flowers are allowed to remain, but wouldn't you know it - no blooms yet this year!

      Delete
  11. Hosta flowers are really quite lovely as they just emerge. It goes downhill quickly from there. Using them in vases is the perfect way to deal with them. Ikebana, whether you know the rules or not, seems to mesh quite well with your design sense.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!