Hardy milkweed plants stand like soldiers along snowy fence rows. While taking my daily walk, one stem in particularly caught my eye. It had perfectly sun-dried pods, bursting with fluffy pluming seeds, on the entire stock. I tramped through the soft mud and melting snow to grab this delicate treasure and hurried back to the studio to create an Ikebana centerpiece.
To showcase these pods, I decided to experiment with the Japanese style of flower arranging known as Ikebana. This style of floral design uses minimal plant material such as branches, leaves, pods, fruit, as well as a single flower. Non-flower material is valued as highly as a flower in full bloom for this type of arrangement. Designing with only a few elements demands an artistic eye that takes a little practice to master.
To create this statement piece, I chose a rustic wood-fired bowl to seamlessly blend with the texture and color of the pods. After inserting two stems, one upright and the other at a slight angle, I covered the foam base with squirrel-eaten nuts for a natural appeal of grace and beauty.
Perhaps you may want to consider this style of floral design when finding an artful form in nature you wish to showcase. I'll be introducing more forms of Ikebana this spring using fresh flowers. You can see the finished piece tomorrow with a more in-depth description.
Creativity involves looking at familiar things in a new way.