ikebana and life in japan

a blog about ikebana and life in japan


Early Summer Landscape Moribana

This week for my lesson, I did a Landscape Moribana arrangement depicting early summer near the bank of a pond. 

In Landscape Moribana, the arranger expresses the natural scenic beauty of the materials being used. Having an understanding of the natural growth characteristics of the plants, the environment, and the seasonal aspects of the materials is important when creating a landscape arrangement. The feelings and the creativity of the arranger are also part of the work.

In the front of the container, Spiraea thunbergii stretches out over the edge of the container creating the ground near the water’s edge. The bulrush rises up tall in the arrangement, leaning slightly forward, helping to bring the viewer into the arrangement. The bulrush is found naturally at the waters edge along the bank, so it is placed behind the Spiraea. In the back of the container, calla lily that has just begun to bloom peeks out from the white speckled leaves of the plant. The leaves of the calla lily stretch out over the surface of the water, helping to create the illusion of the flowers growing up out of a pond. 

Within the small confines of the container, three different spaces have been created — the ground, the bank, and the water. The large surface of the water helps to give the arrangement a cool and refreshing feeling, perfect for the hot days of summer. 

Spiraea thunbergii, bulrush, calla lily

I'll leave you with a haiku by the famous poet, Matsuo Basho, which I think is perfect for this arrangement.


furu ike ya
kawazu tobikomu
mizu no oto

an old pond
a frog leaps
the sound of the water                                                      


Carolyn said...

I was just reading about this traditional landscape in my Ohara textbook yesterday. I thought how difficult it is to get water lilies and thought calla would be a nice substitute. Then wallah here it is. I thought I would place one of the callas out to the right front as in the book.
I like how you positioned them though. I also have bulrushes and spirea.

Unknown said...

Talk about nice timing! This year in Japan, it was not a good season for the water lilies. The flower shop got very few, and the few that they did get had very small leaves. Creating a water lily arrangement is one of the things I always look forward to in the summer. Oh, well. . .

With the way I've used the calla lily here, this makes it a Realistic Method Landscape. I think if you placed one of the callas out to the right in Object position, that would make it a Traditional Method Landscape. Now, there are 47 different Traditional Method Landscape Moribanas. Before, there were something like 107. My teacher was saying that there was a Traditional Method Landscape like you would like to do, although you will not find it in any book now.

I hope you make a beautiful arrangement!

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