On my way home last Monday, I noticed an old man trimming a pine tree in front of their house. What got my attention more were the cuttings laying on the ground. I walked near him and asked if I can take some of the cuttings. Although I can see that he is curious why a gaijin (foreigner) asking for such, he was glad to allow me pick up some stems. He said that it is okay since he will put them in the trash after he finished trimming the tree.
When I reached home, I just examined each stem as I put them in a container with some water. Some of them were still in good shape so I decided to use them for my Ikebana the following day. They might be trash for the old man but for me it was like finding a gem!
The following day during our special lesson with sensei, she was surprised when I told her that the pine stems were trash from the neighbor’s garden.
From trash, I tried to create an Ikebana arrangement using pine stem, dark pink rose, and yellow Dancing Ladies. I highlighted the unique character of the pine stem by adding very minimal accents.