ikebana and life in japan

a blog about ikebana and life in japan


Spring Exhibition

Every year, during May, there is a prefectural-wide ikebana exhibition. Different schools of ikebana participate over a 4 day period with a total of about 450 people exhibiting an arrangement. I took part and made an arrangement using green and white, something that I thought would look fresh and bright.

I went to the flower shop the day before the exhibition and chose my flowers. I was excited with the combination of flowers and the different colors and textures of the materials. I went to the exhibition hall and did my arrangement the evening before the opening of the exhibition. I thought it turned out very nice.

Radial Form with Cala Lily and Hydrangea
The white hydrangea added a nice weight to the arrangement that pulled the two sides of the form together, balancing the different materials to the left and right of the center. But, I was a little worried -- hydrangea are notorious for not absorbing water and wilting quickly. I had applied some "magic medicine" to the stems to help the flowers absorb the water and thought that I would be OK.

The next morning, before the exhibition opened to the public, I went to check on the flowers. And yes, the top hydrangea had wilted! I had a little less than an hour to do something before the doors opened, so I rushed to the flower shop and tried to find something else to replace the hydrangea. Luckily, they had some white lilies, so I bought three stems and raced back to the exhibition hall. By that time, I only had about 30 minutes left to change my arrangement. I carefully pulled out the hydrangea and inserted the lilies. I also rearranged the small ball-like flowers and finished just before the first people arrived.

Radial Form with Cala Lily and white Lily
I was happy with the result, but liked the first arrangement better. If I had had more time, I would have taken everything out of the vase and rearranged the materials. Oh, well. . . it still looked fresh and bright! Needless to say, the arrangement held though the rest of the exhibition.


Nora Kay said...

Both arraingments look very nice. I love the one with the hydrangea the best. You always do a wonderful job.

Anonymous said...

You need ikebana superpowers so that flowers will bend to your will! Poppies would become usable! Hydrangeas would never wilt :) Both pieces are lovely... but I do wish you total control over the flower-verse! Tawnya

Jakey said...

Hi! I came across your blog and love it! This is a very beautiful arrangement. I do like the hydrangea one better too. I'm studying under a floral designer at the moment and will have a show and exhibition in July. I wasn't too interested in ikebana, but your work and your blog had piqued my interest in ikebana, thanks! I would like to see more of your work so please update your blog!