Flowers and Ikebana

Santan: From Fence to Vase

Santan will always be close to my heart. I grew up surrounded by Santan plants when my mom used them as hedge around our house. Back then, me and my cousins would pick the small flowers and then try to sip the nectar out of it. After that we would make headdresses, bracelets, and necklaces by connecting the small flowers. When it is time for Flores de Mayo, a Philippine tradition held in May wherein children would offer flowers to the church everyday for the whole month to honour the Virgin Mary, my friends and I would go around our community to collect flowers. And since Santan is commonly used as hedges, we always have enough Santan flowers to offer.

We Love Making Santan Bracelets When Were Kids (photo credit:

Last Tuesday, the memories of my childhood was brought back to life when I opened my flower pack during our morning Ikebana class. I was surprised to see several bunches of Santan flowers as our main material that day. I was excited to make my arrangement because it felt I was back home in Manila. But this time, instead of pulling out the small flowers and connecting them again to make a long one, I carefully put the flowers in a vase.

For my first arrangement, I combined the Santan flowers with some Willow stems,pink Carnations and Dracaena leaves. I combined lines and masses to highlight each material.

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Ikebana Arrangement Using Santan Flowers


For my second arrangement, I used the same Dracaena leaves and Santan flowers. I also put some white Baby’s Breath to add a bit of contrast and lightness. This arrangement reminds me of my mom’s garden. Back then, she had a collection of Dracaena plants and Santans.

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Santan Flowers and Dracaena Leaves Reminds Me of My Mom’s Garden

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