June 21, 2012
Earth laughs in flowers
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Floral arranging has been a passion of mine for many, many years. Finding new ways to arrange them gives me tremendous pleasure. Creating a centerpiece for holidays and special occasions is a wonderful way to practice arranging. Over the years, I have made designs for my church, created designs for interior design clients, taught classes in floral arranging and given my floral arrangements as gifts. These are some of the creations I have made over the years.
The word Ikebana (eey-kay-bah-nah) means “living flowers” and refers to the arranging of flowers so they look alive and embody principles of heaven, man, and earth. The beginnings can be traced to the 6th century introduction of Buddhism to the Japanese. Part of the worship involved offering flowers on the altar in honor of Buddha. In India, the birthplace of Buddhism, flowers were placed informally. By the 10th century, the Japanese arrangements became more formal and were presented in containers. The plant offerings were the responsibility of the priests of the temple. The earliest school of Ikebana dates back to a priest who was so artistic in arranging flowers; he was highly sought for instruction. He lived near a lake for which the word in Japanese is ikenobo (eey-kay-no-bo), thus the name ikenobo became associated to the priests there who specialized in these altar arrangements.
The word topiary is from the Latin word topiarius, a creator of topia or places. They are created by shaping plants and flowers into ornamental sculptures. Classically they are seen as formed ornamental shapes in gardens. They can also be made by arranging dried flowers to create a potted floral arrangement.
Wreaths are usually seen as Christmas decorations and they are used in ceremonial events around the world. They are made with an assortment of branches, flowers, fruits, leaves, and berries and constructed to shape a ring.