Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wall Design Ikebana

We planted some bamboo in our backyard 14 years ago, when we built this house. Now it looks like a bamboo forest. In ikebana, we use bamboo quite often. For my wall design, I used bamboo to make an irregular shape, then hanged a trimmed Japanese maple branch, and next glued a piece of tree bark to cover the water tube so I could add an iris and sweet peas into the arrangement. The right side of the hard board leave a negative space. My teacher said this was necessary and important.

After my teacher's criticisms, she said do it again and title it for next lesson. She said that my bamboo should stick up and stick out at the top. But I had no more iris and sweet pea, so I substituted Clementius. Some of flowers wilted already( I picked them that morning), but the teacher said it was okay. I think this is a natural way to show that life is not always perfect. So I titled it, "Don't worry, be happy."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Orchid fest (7/24-26/09)

Vendor #1

Vendor #2

Vendor #3

Parkside Orchid Nursery greenhouse #1

The Parkside Orchid Nursery (, located about an hour north of Philadelphia, holds an orchid fest annually on the last weekend of July. It draws many vendors (orchid grower) from all over the northeast region, sometimes as far as from Hawaii. The local Bucks County Orchid Society usually sponsors the event. As a member, I am glad to be a volunteer to help out. I saw a lot of orchid lovers come all over the place from far and near, to expand their orchid collection. They are not cheap, but for some people money isn't an issue, they just love orchids so much and have to have them! (prices range from $10 to $100+ for each plant)

Even if you don't buy anything, just come to enjoy the beauty of orchids. It's worth the trip.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Three former arrangements

I created this one entirely, even the container. Using wire to make a round shape first, I then used honeysuckle vine to weave around it. Clever, right?

Tulips, Callas, and Willow twigs to make a curved line moribana.

Basic Upright Style Nageire. The red Tulips and vase match perfectly.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Echoing the shape of container

I bent the willow twigs in three different sized ovals to echo the shape of the container.Using Black eyed susans and hostas to complete this assignment. ( 6/30/09 class)

At home, I composed another arrangement. Same idea, different flowers. The purple flowers were Spider wort.
Which one do you like better?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Life is hard but beautiful

It has been a year since I took my first Ikebana lesson. I can see myself improve a lot and gain knowledge. I feel so fortunate to have Ms. Lin as my teacher. She is a Sugetsu school Ikebana Master. She inspires me in so many ways. She has been through so much in her life and has overcome a lot of hardship by studying for a masters degree and becoming an Ikebana master. She continuously pursues her beloved flower arranging.

I like the way she teaches. We have to prepare all of our own materials for the class, and before that, you have to decide what kind of container, branches, and flowers are best suited for the teacher's coming assignment.

In our class we have 13 students in total, but not a full house most of the time. (We have lessons twice a month for two hours each time, and have 4 text books to follow.) Everybody learns at their own pace and has different levels. By the end of the class, when everyone finishes their arrangement, we offer comments and criticisms to each other. If needed, the teacher will correct our arrangements. Always, she has a magic touch. We are all so amazed by the result.

I don't have to go to Japan to learn Ikebana. Right here near Bucks County, I found a terrific teacher, Ms. Meei-Huey Lin. I feel so lucky and appreciative. (She is not Japanese. She is Taiwanese American, so am I. We have known each other for so many years. I've been waiting for her to open this class, and happily she started the class one year ago.)

Last month's class, she created a wall design with a brown hard-board for the background, using twigs and white Calla lilies. On the hard-board, she wrote "Life is hard but beautiful!" I was so moved.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Orchids on vacation

Jordan in Grandma's garden. She was here on vacation too.

Vacation site.

Now, most of the orchids I have, such as Cattleyas, Oncidium (or Dancing Lady), Brassia (or Spider Orchid) and their related species are on vacation. I put them outside under a big pine tree (some shade, bright light, but no direct sun) so they can enjoy the warm weather and breeze.
Occasionally they get some rain water, which is good for them. Being outside lets them be close to the Mother Nature. But the Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilum orchids stay at home because they need more attention. The Phalaenopsis needs less water (once every 1 to 3 weeks) and I have to keep it on the dry side. The Lady's Slipper orchids require moisture all the time, but they don't like to be soggy. Otherwise their roots will rot and die.
Their vacation starts right after Mother's Day and ends early October before frost.
Behind the beautiful flowers, there is a lot of hard work, patience, and love, indeed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cymbidium orchids

I don't know the name for this one. I lost the tag.

This Cymbidium is named "Lovely Smile". It's just so lovely!

I also don't know the name for this one.

The above three Cymbidiums are winter-blooming orchids. They are big plants and occupy a lot of space. But they are so beautiful. I have to have them! These pictures are from January. They bloom from New Years until about March. Cymbidiums are usually grown outside in semishade all year round in California. But not here. Right now, they are all at outside on their vacation.
P.S. :To initiate flower spikes, day and night temperature should be 15 to 20 degrees difference

Friday, July 10, 2009

Five or more kinds of materials

In this assignment, you have to use five or more kinds of materials, mainly flowers. This time of year, the teacher might think there are a lot of flowers in the garden, if you have a garden. So I picked five different kinds of flowers plus one Cymbibium orchid.
The composition of this arrangement, the color and the texture, is well balanced and in harmony. My teacher liked it and didn't change a bit. I like it very much too.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

With Leaves Only

As you can see here, I used four kinds of leaves to arrange this assignment.There are Hosta, Tiger's tail, Philodendron selloum and red Japanese Maple. After my teacher's magic touch, they became more lively.
Later at home, I changed the red maple to a yellow iris.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Colors in Contrast


The yellow and purple iris combination present a harmonized contrast colors.

Massed Design

Lilacs can easily form a mass , but I had to gather these pink mums together to form a second mass. The colors match well here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Two kinds of orchids

This cattleya Alliance is named "Lady of the night" because it is very fragrant at night.

I planted this miniature Dendrobium on a piece of wood. I waited and waited for almost three years. finally, it bloom. I was so surprised and happy. It got first place in the miniature group.