Dogwood Ikebana

On Sunday, for Mother’s day, I went with my mom-in-law to an Ikebana workshop by Mikiko Ideno, at Tortoise, one of my favorite local shops here in Venice.  Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging.

The stems of the flowers and branches are held in place by the kenzan, a pincushion-like metal plate.

Branches and flower stems are cut underwater, using sharp shears and a shallow bowl.  Cutting the stems underwater helps the flowers and branches last longer.

When placing the elements of the arrangement, we used the principle of the three “lines”, or elements: the first branch is the longest “line”, at a little more than two times the length of the container size (= container height + diameter).  The second and third “lines” are slightly shorter in length.  Once we placed the three lines, we added a few more flowers and leaves.

The main idea behind Ikebana is to utilize and appreciate the negative space within the flower arrangement.

All Toki cared about though was that I brought an extra branch home for her to munch on. . . .


Just a reminder – don’t forget to check out our Leash Review and Giveaway post from Monday!  We’re accepting entries for our giveaway all week.  Check out the post for photos of the beautiful paracord leash that’s up for grabs and for details on how to enter.

This post was is part of the Blog Paws Wednesday Blog Hop!  Click on here to see the list of participants, and to hop on over to the next blog.

This entry was posted in Do It Yourself, Events, Photo Post and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Dogwood Ikebana

  1. Jennifer says:

    I have a number of handmade bowls with the kenzan built into it. It’s a great way to make a nice arrangement with only a few flowers! Your arrangement is beautiful!

    • furfilled says:

      Thank you! It was a very meditative experience. And since you only need a few flowers and branches, I feel like I’ll be able to keep up with it on a regular basis. (By the way – I have one of those homemade bowls myself, as a Christmas gift from my cousin . . . so now I finally know the technique for using it.)

  2. ann says:

    Gorgeous! Where do you get dogwood in LA, and how long do the flowers/branches typically last?

    • furfilled says:

      You can probably find dogwood at a florist — or maybe a neighbor’s tree, but I don’t advocate that : )

      The branches in my arrangement should last more than a week, maybe two?

      The really fun part about this type of flower arranging is that you can do it with just about anything on hand though. For instance, you can substitute just about any tree branch for the dogwood. And there are a lot of flowering trees in this area to choose from. You can also just use flowers. The idea is to keep the three lines, whether they are branches, flowers, or any other type of stem.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Would that cousin be me?????

  4. What a beautiful technique and arrangement. I love the use of space.

    • furfilled says:

      Thanks – as I mentioned in my post, you need very little in the way of materials – i.e. you don’t need to buy a ton of flowers – and it’s a very relaxing pursuit. I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with the materials in my garden in the coming weeks.

  5. What a lovely thing to do with your mom-in-law. I know she will cherish the memory! AND you made a beautiful arrangement to remember your day.

  6. That’s very pretty. Maybe I should use that concept for the arrangements at my wedding 🙂 Gretel likes to chew on bark and sticks too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s