East/West…Ikebana at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Ikebana displaysBrilliant purple walls were the setting for the designs shown by Ikebana International at the Philadelphia Flower Show.  These popular designs, like all ikebana, are not judged.

shaped mitsumataThese accomplished arrangers teach us much about the use of balance and proportion. This design features beautifully modeled mitsumata branches.  Mitsumata is the Japanese name for Edgewortha chrysantha.  The fibers of this plant are used to make beautiful Japanese papers.

Two vases make a designThis stretches my ideas of scale of plant material with the vibrant large helaconia and the weedy eryngium on the left, back.

Red bamboo ikebanaThis design was hard to photograph with its thrusting diagonal of bamboo.  I love it and the red verticals too.  I am a little confused by the fussy flower garden like designs on the left. It greatly adds to the balance but mutes the strength of the image.  The forward design with the sansiverria and the birds of paradise works well so perhaps it is the star shapes of the white lilies.

Ikebana with bambooThis huge design seems to have a lot going on for an ikebana design.  However I rather like it, especially the exuberant loops which are from a kind of sansiverria.

Ikebana with bambooThis design was created by the same arranger, note the pile of bamboo.  I find this one a little more serene and organized more effectively.  Both have wonderful tropical materials in pristine condition.

Ikebana basketsIkebana designers often have a wealth of baskets at their disposal. This oval bamboo basket holds the design while the round tray on the wall holds a small container of materials.

Gorgeous liliesLilies are exuberantly generous in this design.

Ikebana with leavesThis design fascinates me.  I keep putting my hand over the vertical plant material to see if I think a purely horizontal line is stronger but isn’t that a purely Western convention?  What do you think?


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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2 Responses to East/West…Ikebana at the Philadelphia Flower Show

  1. Beth Herod says:

    Susan, were the Ikebana designs done by various schools or the same school?

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