In A Vase On Monday—Summer Song

Each Monday brings the chance to join Cathy’s In A Vase On Monday to share an arrangement using materials gathered from the garden. As a special challenge Cathy has suggested we create an Ikebana-style floral design this week.

In A Vase On Monday - Summer Song

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Song

Ikebana is a fascinating art form, a centuries-old, Japanese flower arranging discipline with strict rules that followers may spend a life-time trying to master. Though not having that background, I admire the aesthetic, which emphasizes asymmetry and open space and seeks a harmonious balance among  the container, materials and overall surroundings. There is a quiet, meditative component to Ikebana as well that I find appealing.

This design began with a stalk of canna with two large leaves. I made parallel cuts into one side of the darker, shorter leaf to create a fringed effect. The idea was for the fringe to fall evenly spaced along the right-hand side of the design. It looked beautiful for a very short time before it began shriveling and curling. Unlike Aspidistra which can withstand this type of manipulation, the canna leaf displayed distress immediately but retained an interesting character nevertheless.

Canna Leaves, Fringed

Canna Leaves, Fringed (back view)

 

The canna stalk was inserted first, positioned in the kenzan to the right at a slight angle and back. Next several thin stems of pure yellow Rudbeckia laciniata were secured slightly left and forward. Additional rudbeckia flowers were placed low to meet the edge of the container.

The open and playful form of the rudbeckia is in contrast to the broad, heavy leaves of the canna, yet they hold equal weight in the composition.

In A Vase On Monday - Summer Song

In A Vase On Monday – Summer Song

A small amount of orange Asclepias works as an anchor and helps tie the design to the container.

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)

Materials
Flowers
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Plant) (Orange Glory Flower)
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
Foliage
Canna
Mechanics
blue/brown ceramic circular dish
black, round self-contained Kenzan (flower arranging frog)
black stones

 

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this weekly chance to express our flower arranging interests. Visit her at Rambling In The Garden to discover what Ikebana inspirations she and others are placing In A Vase On Monday. Feel free to join in.

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25 thoughts on “In A Vase On Monday—Summer Song

  1. Christina

    Perfect! I love the explanation of how it was done and what each element means; the finished arrangement is lovely. I failed at the challenge, there were just too many flowers needing to be picked.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Was looking forward to seeing your Ikebana but I think the materials on hand dictate the direction we take in styling. Too many flowers is a grand predicament. Since it’s become very hot and humid I’m seeing fewer flowers each day (today’s rudbeckia being an exception). The zinnias are coming along but I planted them very late and it will be a while longer before they flower.

      Reply
  2. joanna

    So clever – fringing the canna leaf to create some volume in between the main components.
    In you wow post: Dipladenia – outdoors? How lucky you are with your climate. I can only grow that inside – in my case the kithen which is the only place with the right height.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The canna obviously didn’t want to be handled at all. I thought it was waxy enough to hold up but it withered miserably, especially after the photos were made. This is my first time growing Dipladenia–it’s a form that doesn’t vine.

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    This is lovely Susie. The overall effect is peaceful but happy too – the coneflowers exude naturalness, contrasting with the stark canna leaf. I love the Asclepsia at the base. It really does add weight, maybe due to its colour.

    Reply
  4. Kris Peterson

    You are a master at manipulating your materials to show them at their best, Susie! The cuts in the Canna leaf give it a whole new personality. I tend to think of ikebana arrangements as somber but yours is anything but that.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Kris, hadn’t thought of Ikebana before as somber but now that you mention it I know what you mean–well very formal at least. I was disappointed the canna didn’t retain its shape better after cutting, but everything’s a chance to learn.

      Reply
  5. Cathy

    We know you have the understanding and confidence to pull of this type of vase Susie, and we have all been inspired by your vases over the years. You are right about this one looking balanced, even if we can’t quite work out why it does so – and is it just me, or do the canna leaves look like a butterfly taking off? Thank you for all your support with this challenge

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you Cathy. I enjoyed trying Ikebana again this week. My first try didn’t work out at all, but later things flowed better. Was fun seeing what you and others came up with for this challenge–so many great interpretations. And yes, I think the canna is about to take flight.

      Reply
  6. rickii

    I have always admired the simplicity of Ikebana designs without knowing anything about the rules. It seems to me that you have captured the spirit of the discipline using flowers that would never be found in the real thing. It’s a lovely composition.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Ricki. I can see why people could spend a lifetime studying Ikebana. We have to start somewhere though and it’s fun to explore.

      Reply
  7. Noelle

    In this design I love the ‘space’ and the way you have taken advantage of curves and straight lines, of colour and contrast. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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