Branching out into Ikebana

I must say I picked a very windy day to go photographing nature.A preliminary reckoning of the current cutting situation for I am about to embark on a journey of Ikebana. I have been giving some flower arranging classes in Glangevlin since last autumn which have been going well. We delved into Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging for a spell using a formula which I remembered from training many  more years ago than I like to admit. Anyway, there are a formidable number of documentaries and you-tube videos to go and have a look at if you would like to find out more.

For the time being, let us contemplate springtime. A time of young buds, birds in their nest, small green things and tiny blossoms.

Amalanchier canadensis

It got me thinking, trying to find the stillness in the wind. I hate the wind mostly, I find I am quite drained by it when after a days gardening in it I collapse after kicking my boots off. Patience is required in abundance, the camera is still and the branches dance back and forth playing catch me if you can. The megapixels set to 8 only, happy to click away careless of memory space, confident that I would capture something anyway.

Pussy willow with gorse in the background
Tree peony shoot

Being in the garden is hugely distracting on any given day, even a windy dull one. Isn’t the Tree peony Paeonia lutea divine in bud as well as at every other stage? I think it would be nearly criminal to pick it now though. I was very lucky to come across another pink peony, Paeonian suffruticosa, the  so called Chinese peony. It is pink , is growing in the field here in west -Cavan where  it once had the shelter of a polytunnel that got blown away by the blessed wind, sigh. That is another story, for another day. This plant has survived through it all.

Paeonia Suffruitcosa

It is very healthy too considering a willow fell on it last summer.


Then I was in Lidl as you do  and they were killing their plants as usual, pure neglect. Actually do you know that if you are part of a community group you can collect these neglected half dead plants on behalf of your group. Aldi do it. There is some rigmarole involved that warrants investigation. On this particular day, I picked up a purple tree peony that I very much desired and offered them 50c to save it. It is doing quite well now and I will post pics of any blooms. Back to the Ikebana. I had a go. This is a kind of free style, really free as I have no teacher and am totally winging it for the students next Wednesday.

small bowl that will do nicely for plant study in Ikebana
small bowl Ikebana,
This is one of my favorite plant pots, it is quite huge almost 30cm in diameter

as it has a hole I put a small plastic container into it and wrapped some wire around oasis for stability. I had a few goes, the more I did it the braver I got and the better the arrangements got too. I don’t think I will show the first ones but I like this one.

Ikebana with elder branch, forsythia, pheasant eye daffodils, green buttons, fennel stems

Ah well I am just a beginner. Here are a few of the ones from the autumn class

The demo arrangement with calla lilys, eryngium , liatris and green buttons , how I love them
This is a very good colour scheme, gladioli, carnation, wild carrot, weigelia leaves by student
Another interesting arrangement by a student., Anthurium, bird of paradise, protea and berberis?

Some of the class pictures are slightly blurry due to excitement I apologize profusely.

The class in Blacklion and their Ikebana

I love the way I give out the instructions and demonstrate how to do it etc etc and then some folks go ahead and just do there own thing. I really do love it. There is a wonderfully rebellious spirit up here in west-Cavan.


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