Glorious Blooms in the Urban Summer Garden


Since my partner and I moved into our current apartment six years ago we've been working hard on our urban backyard garden. It's great for growing flowers to use in ikebana, and in my mind that makes them the best kind. We've dug up lots of the backyard(with permission from our landlords) and created a space we love and cherish. Every year brings new things and a sense of excitement before, during and at the end of the growing seasons. I try to choose plants that I know will make great flowers for ikebana, but always seem to also get things that can be difficult to use. That's part of the challenge of ikebana, the mystery of what the outcome will be. If we knew exactly how it would turn out, some of the fun, challenge and discovery of creating would be lost.

The arrangement that you see here is made entirely with flowers from our garden . I wanted to used all blue flowers, since that has been our featured color this summer in early plantings. However I also used some violet colored flowers, and some chartreuse plant materials and I figured since they were all located together on the color wheel that they would be perfect together. I included lisianthus in both violet and white with a blue rim, blue balloon flowers, blue echinops, green spearmint and scented geranium leaves, blue angelonia and some stems of lavender. You might wonder what this arrangement has to do with ikebana, and there is a good answer. This would be considered a Moribana arrangement which literally means "piled up". If you would like to know more about ikebana , you can visit Ikebana International.


Liz Crain said...

Hi Keith!
I am finding your ikebana world fascinating and glad you are willing to do the difficult work that our blog class is asking of us, because I know that will let me continue to follow along with you.
Your yard must be amazing! Imagine growing one's own palette for sculpture!

Jackie said...

Hi Keith

I'm so happy you're doing the blog class. Your ikebana work is absolutely beautiful. I will definitely continue to follow along with you. Thanks for sharing.

Deb Strong Napple said...

Hi, Keith.

I just love your blog topic! I once took a class called "Drawing with Ki" taught by a Japanese artist named Yasuji Paul Hamanako. . One exercise he gave us was to arrange the flowers that he brought to class in an ikebana style, then to draw them. As Americans, we really had a hard time with that one. The simple, elegant aesthetic is so foreign to most of us!

But I love the work that you are doing, particularly the blue/violet arrangement made from your garden. Just beautiful!

Susan Buret said...

You already know I share your love of blue flowers. These are beautiful and its great to see mint included in the arrangement. It's spring here in the southern hemisphere and I am thinking about using curly parsley as a border plant.
Your white background looks great too.

Keith said...

Hi Deb!
We have a similar exercise in the Sogetsu school in which we draw an arrangement first and then attempt to make use our flowers to replicate what we have envisioned in our drawing. Very similar to what you did in your drawing class escept in reverse order.In fact I now have a small portable watercolor set and Moleskin to work on my ideas, it's a great tool to get me thinking about design.

Locations of visitors to this page