Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Western flowers meet ikebana

If you've ever tried ikebana, usually simplistically defined as "the Japanese art of flower arranging," you know that it is a complex art whose results look deceptively simple. I observed a class once at Longwood Gardens. Trust me. It isn't simple. But it's a simple and joyful thing to check out the ikebana entries at the show.

Western flowers meet ikebana

If you've ever tried ikebana, usually simplistically defined as "the Japanese art of flower arranging," you know that it is a complex art whose results look deceptively simple. I observed a class once at Longwood Gardens. Trust me. It isn't simple. But it's a simple and joyful thing to check out the ikebana entries at the show.

This one was done by Young Oh in the tradition of the Ohara School of ikebana. It's named for Unshin Ohara, who founded the school in the late 19th century, when Western influences - note the colorful Western flowers here - began to penetrate the closed society of Japan.

According to Ikebana International, the Ohara School "emphasizes seasonal qualities, natural growth processes, and the beauty of natural environments." 

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected