Flowers and Ikebana

Prickly Pine Needles Ikebana

One of the things I look forward to every winter season is the light yet refreshing smell of pine. It is this time of the year when my favorite flower shop is filled with different types of evergreens and cedars especially the Japanese Pine to welcome the New Year.

Oshugatsu Ikebana
New Year Ikebana using Young Pine Branch

Oftentimes a week after New Year, I often have a couple of these branches still in good condition. Hence for this year, I challenge myself to create some arrangements using the prickly pine needles.

Experimenting with Prickly Pine Needles

I always admire other people’s work using the prickly pine needles. For one, removing them from the stems already require a lot of time and patience. Arranging them in shapes or forms is double the time and work especially if the design requires to put the needles piece by piece.

For my first arrangement, I tried to cluster the needles similar to a hay. The clusters were arrangement in a wave-like form accentuated with Chrysanthemums. Both pine needles and flowers are recycled from my New Year arrangements.

Ikebana using Pine Needles

View from Top Ikebana using Pine Needles and Chrysanthemums

For my second arrangement, I used the pine needles to cover the vase similar to a lawn or meadow grass. This one is challenging because it required a lot of patience to fill the vase with needles. And instead of kenzan, I used a floral foam to keep them in place and to have a leveled height.

Winter Ikebana Pine Needles
Moon Arrangement using Pine Needles and Yellow Chrysanthemum

Realizing how tedious and time consuming it is to work with pine needles, it did not stop me to just play with it and enjoy the challenge. For my third arrangement, I piled the pine needles as if they are fine sand. Letting the needles find their own way while carefully maintaining the shape I want resulted to a more naturalistic composition.

Spring Ikebana
Early Spring Ikebana using Pine Needles and Tulips

Overall, it was a fun experiment with prickly pine needles. It tested my patience and eye for fine details. And it also reminded me that sometimes you just need to play and have fun to get better results.

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