What you need:
- 2 stems Bird of Paradise
- 1 Fig tree branch with leaves
- 1 Passion Fruit vine
- 1 Kenzan or frog (brass pin holder with spikes)
- Half a dozen smooth finish black river rocks
- 1 medium glass bowl ( I used a Kosta Boda art glass bowl).
Rated: Easy Arrangement
Ikebana is the Japanese art of arranging flowers. Ikebana means, "flowers kept alive". The earliest school of Ikebana was founded in the 15th century.
In keeping with the Ikebana philosophy of using flowers and branches from nature, the flowers, vines, and branch that were used in this arrangement were from the yard of my friend Carolann's neighbor, Babette. Great combination huh, Carolann, Babette, and SuZette. Babette let us cut a fig branch that had little figs on it, two brilliant Bird of Paradise flowers, and a passion fruit vine complete with lots of curly tendrils. I hope your neighbors don't mind if you take cuttings from their yard (you had better ask beforehand!)
This arrangement is inspired by the moribana Basic Upright style. The photos for this post were inadvertently reversed, so refer to the diagram below for this paragraph. We will be using a kenzan or "floral frog" to make this arrangement. Kenzans have a circular brass base and brass pins with sharp tips that are about 1/2 inch long. You will push the flower stems and branches into the kenzan at a set angle. See the diagram below. If you were looking at the arrangement in the frontal view, pretend you are holding a clear protractor in front of it and that the blooms of the stems form an imaginary arc made from two 90 degree angles back to back with 0 degrees being the vertical between the two. You may need to review your geometry. The stem that goes out at a 15 degree angle from vertical to the left is called the Shin "Truth" and represents Heaven. The stem that goes out at a 45 degree angle to the left of vertical is called the Soe "Supporting" and represents Earth. The offsetting stem that goes out at a 75 degree angle to the right of vertical or 0 degrees, closer to horizontal, is called the Hikae "Moderating". It represents man. The meaning attributed to each element in the Japanese art form, may be profound. But from a floral arranging perspective, the Hikae is like a ballast and balances the stems on the left side. In this arrangement, there is also a supplementary stem. Supplementary stems are shorter, but in this case the supplementary stem is another Bird of Paradise and it is a little shorter than the other Bird of Paradise stem. When you look down from the top at your arrangement in an overhead view, the Soe and the Hikae should form an upside down V. The Shin should be slightly to the left of the Soe.
The kenzan that I used was a little small for the weight of the flowers and branches used. If I had one, I would have used a larger kenzan, but to compensate and help provide balance, flat black river rocks were used around and on top of the kenzan.
Ikebana arrangements are usually done in glass bowls. I used a vibrant orange Kosta Boda art glass bowl with horizontal stripes. The glass has vivid color and a translucent quality.
Well, if you have your kenzan, your bowl and your neighbor's flowers and branches, I think you are ready to go.