New arrangements do not always mean new materials to work with. This is one of the important things I learned when I started learning Ikebana. Some people think that Ikebana is an expensive hobby because you always need to have fresh flowers and leaves. But in reality, the Japanese flower art also teaches us to create new arrangements out of used or old materials.

A few weeks ago, I got some nice branches to work with. And because they are woody, they are still quite fresh up to now. I removed a leaf here and there to give the branches a different appreciation.

 

Creating New Arrangements from Old Materials

One way of creating new arrangements using old materials is to use them as they are. Some plants especially the leaves change color over time.  This is a great way to showcase same materials in different perspectives. For my arrangement below, I retained the almost dying leaves of the Lingonberries to represent the change of seasons. From the right bottom, fresh leaves symbolize the early spring. And as it goes up to the left side, the colors of the leaves gradually change from light yellow to dark orange. The dark orange leaves resembles autumn. I also added big and small carnations in pink and peachy yellow to reflect the vibrant summer.

 

Changing of Season

 

Another method is called deconstruction or removing some parts of the material to give a new form. This method works well when you want to highlight a certain feature of the plant. I like this technique when ever I work with branches, hypericum, or lilies. For my example below, I deconstructed the branches of Lingonberries and Ekianthus by removing their leaves to highlight the fine lines of their twigs. For good contrast, I also added a single Monstera leaf, white Calla Lilies, and a pink Carnation, and a Dracena leaf. The container I used is a light blue narrow vase.

 

Ikebana Arrangement Using Deconstruction Method