Monday, June 29, 2009

How To Make A Flower Arrangement Interesting?

There are many ways to do that.

Do you expect to see a dry bamboo structure in a flower arrangement? That is a non-ordinary material and it made the arrangement interesting.

If we only have access to the ordinary materials, use the material in a non-ordinary way, which also makes the flower arrangement interesting.

The zebra grass is seldom used in the western style flower arrangement, however, it is a common material in ikebana arrangements since it is easy to get in Japan. It is typically used tall and combines with other oriental materials like chrysanthemums to create a typical autumn scenery. In the shared picture, zebra grasses were used low and combined with tropical flowers instead, that made the arrangement interesting.

After all, we need think out of the ordinary box to make things interesting.

Enjoy and Happy Monday.

In Friendship Through Flowers,


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Report 2 From Green Project - The Father

Since I started to learn flower arrangement, I haven't had any satisfied Father's Day arrangement. The week after Mother's Day, I made an arrangement using palm leaves and rhododendron from office yard (this is the very first time I used rhododendron), looked at the finished arrangement, I thought that I finally got the one I am happy about. I named it "The Father".

Everyone has his or her own father image. When you look at this flower arrangement, does it match the father image in your mind?

Enjoy and Happy Monday.

In Friendship through Flowers,

Being Green:
Report 1 from Green Project:


Sunday, June 14, 2009

You have to make it work

Every spring we get chance(s) to arrange scotch broom (cytisus scoparius).

Scotch broom is a tough plant. Its seeds have hard coats that enable them to survive in the environment for up to 80 years. With this in mind, you would not surprise if I tell you that scotch broom had made itself into the “bad” plant list, actually, it is classified as weed. If you want to learn more, here is the URL:

Most of the scotch broom stems are straight. To our ikebana arrangers, straight means boring, we have to make it work in our way, we bend the stem with the curves to make it more interesting. Bending is not an easy job. To bend it, one has to get the hands wet with water, use left hand holds the stem, put right hand next to the left hand, hold the stem, bends and twists at the same time. Work from the bottom of the stem, move up to the tip while shaping the stem. The tip is soft, easy to bend, but the bottom is pretty hard. If not enough force, it will not change; if too much force, it breaks. It takes a lot of practice to bend it with right amount of force. Once bended, it looks very elegant.

This arrangement picture is from last spring. In the arrangement, there are scotch brooms with clivia, and a bird paradise. In real life, there are situations that we have to make it work, no matter it takes, that is why I remembered this arrangement picture tonight.

Enjoy the arrangement and Happy Monday.

In Friendship through Flowers,


Sunday, June 7, 2009

What Did You Notice?

I just moved into my new home yesterday. I noticed a few small things broken the first night. It disturbed me a little bit.

Today I noticed one thing very interesting. Birds came and made a nest inside the wreath hung on my front door. I stood inside by the dining room window to watch them this afternoon. They may be a couple. They were busy for a while, in and out, I did not see them carrying food or something, I am not sure what they were busy for, maybe that was their exercise time or play time. They talked, but in the language I could not understand. Their bodies are about two and half inches long, gray plumage, with red on their head. My bird expert friends had identified them, they are house finches. Their nest seems so small in size comparing with the size of their body, but I sensed they were happy.

What a welcome gift! I called and emailed few friends to share. My girl friend and her parents came to visit this afternoon, I asked them to enter through the garage to avoid disturb the birds. They were eager to see, unfortunately, they only got to see the empty net.

Tonight, when I am sitting in the front of my MacBook and thinking what to post for Happy Monday, I remembered the poem, Gratitude by Mary Oliver. that I shared with Happy Monday readers last spring, here is the excerpt from it:

What did you notice?

The dew snail;
the low-flying sparrow;
the bat, on the wind, in the dark;
big-chested geese, in the V of sleekest performance;
the soft toad, patient in the hot sand;
the sweet-hungry ants;
the uproar of mice in the empty house;
the tin music of the cricket’s body;
the blouse of the goldenrod.

Slow down to notice the pleasant side of the life and enjoy, it helps me to positively take life in all aspects. After all, to live a life is an experience, one should take all opportunities to explore and learn.

When I shared this poem last spring, I shared a spring flower arrangement picture with it. I like the arrangement, it fits my mood. Wish you enjoy it as well.

Happy Monday!

In friendship through flowers,