Fall’s Bounty Ikebana

I guess all that complaining about how summer was sticking around actually accomplished something, because it’s wonderfully crisp and cool out now. It seemed like a good time to share this last of the triad I created from that one big bundle of flowers my mum brought home a while back.

The lilies and the greenery forming the horizontal grounding of the arrangement harken back to the end of summer, while the carnations and chrysanthemums scream autumn to me. Unfortunately the piece does end up feeling a little cluttered, in retrospect, and I might have been better off just foregoing the orange lilies entirely. Oh well, you live and you learn, right?

I’d also like to take a moment to thank any regular readers for their patience. My schedule at work and life in general have been a little out of whack for the past few weeks and I’ve found it hard to devote time to blogging. But things are back to normal now, so I should be back to two entries a week or so.

Second Summer Ikebana

Isn’t it supposed to be autumn this weekend? The trees are still green, the weather is still warm… It definitely feels like a second summer is sneaking back to us. Blegh!

This more traditional-looking sparse arrangement is another one made with the same bundle of flowers as the last one, but it feels quite different I think. The roses make me think of the sweltering heat of mid-summer, but their colour absolutely evokes autumn foliage.

I am definitely ready for it to actually stay cooler and crisper now! Can summer just go away properly, please?

Summer Farewell Ikebana

The weather here is finally getting cooler, to the point where I’ve actually felt straight-up chilly the past few nights. It’s wonderful! It’s a sure sign that summer is on the way out.

I don’t like summer but I know lots of people do so I wanted to do something to give my least-favourite season a proper send-off before we say hello to Autumn (the best season). My mother brought home an enormous bouquet of mixed flowers the other day after she was out running errands, and I was able to make three separate compositions with it. This is the first one.

The colours of these bold gladiolas and smaller flowers are the perfect bridge between a mid-summer sunset and warm fall foliage. The whole thing feels almost tropical but still very familiar. The green leaf was actually a fantastic slice of serendipity, and you’ll find out why later this week in an upcoming entry.

I’m not sure how I feel about the overall shape and composition of this one; I’d realised nearly everything I do is the composed, structural moribana style, and wanted to try a more relaxed nageire arrangement but to me it feels less like ikebana and more like a random western-style bouquet to me. I’ll have to keep trying!

The Ocean is Calling Ikebana

I am feeling pulled towards the ocean right now. The wet sand between my toes, the crackle and crash of the waves breaking on the shore. Floating away from everything that’s wrong with the world.

Sadly, that’s completely impossible right now. What isn’t impossible, however, is making an ikebana composition that helps evoke that feeling. Using tropical-looking flowers and a shell instead of a traditional vessel and kenzan was the perfect solution.

This conch shell was brought back from the Bahamas when my folks went there on their honeymoon, 41 years ago. While it wasn’t intentional I also used the same sort of lilies my mum had in her bouquet! The small button mums remind me of seafoam, and were chosen for no other real reason than that.

For the actual arrangement I was aiming for an intersection of diagonal lines. The lilies form one axis and the button mums form the other, anchored by the conch and the palm frond. I feel like this brings a lot of dynamic energy to the whole composition, and I’m very happy with it.

Serene Celadon Ikebana

Today’s arrangement is a very simple, clean, and summery trio of clematis in serene celadon vases. The vases are all different shapes, but the colours are very close and I think that really helps the whole thing stay balanced. It doesn’t just look like I grabbed three random containers; it feels thoughtful and intentional. I love the repeated triangular shapes formed by the flowers and vases so much I chose to display it on a mirror, to echo that repetition even further. It also adds a watery feel that encourages the cool fresh summer vibe I was hoping to achieve. Overall, I’m very pleased with this one.

That wasn’t initially the case though! Just as a reminder that sometimes, things don’t work out and your best course of action is to come back later. Here was the original arrangement and photo I took yesterday, where the flowers were too crowded by foliage and you couldn’t even see the tall vase. I debated about posting it as-is, but I was unhappy with it and I’m glad I tried again. Also, if you’re like me and you’ve got trypophobia just be warned that photo has a particularly pock-marked side of the really earthy vase exposed. That might be part of why it displeased me so much!