My mom used to do flower talks while watering the plants in our garden. It is not always a literal chat with her plants. Most of the time, she just examine her plants and rearranging the pots for those who need more sunshine. Maybe that is where I learned how to observe plants in my own special way.

For my past few arrangements, I had a great time and experience modifying my materials especially the leaves to fit to the forms and styles I want. But just a few days ago, I was reminded by Anthony Bourdain's No Reservation Japan episode that one major principles of Ikebana is to let the flowers and other materials speak to you - highlight their forms where they look happy without much alteration.  Keeping this in mind, I tried to focus on the highlights of each material I had during our special Ikebana class last Tuesday afternoon.

 

Flower Talks: Conveying the Plants' Message through Ikebana

 

In my first arrangement, I featured the natural flow of the fern leaves. From there, I arranged the flowers using the curves made by the ferns. I used deep-red dahlias and put some small yellow mums to add brightness. The dahlias are quite big so I did not use too many flowers to give emphasis to the dahlias.

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Using the natural curves of the ferns as the highlight of the arrangement with deep-red dahlias and yellow mums

The combination of lines and mass was the highlight of my second arrangement. For my mass, I used the light purple asters on top and the two big white day lilies at the bottom. The stems of the asters created fine unique lines that gave a forest-like image.  I also added some purple Malaysian mums together with the lilies to add some color.

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Forest asters featuring the fine lines of stems