Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pearl S. Buck Celebration

Our teacher was honored to do an Ikebana flower arrangement in the Pearl S. Buck historic estate for the event of  her house and garden's grand reopening and 121 year birthday celebration. The festival lasted for 3 days from 6/26 to 6/28, 2013. Our teacher assigned one senior student to do the frame and major structural work under her instruction and asked us to do minor jobs, which was a good experience for us. I learned a lot from it. This huge arrangement was displayed at the center of the garden tent.
In my youth in Taiwan, Pearl S. Buck's novel was quite popular, especially "The Good Earth" and "East Wind, West Wind." I didn't know that her house and burial ground are not far from my home, both are in Bucks County.
Below is her brief information from Wikipedia.
"Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (June 26, 1892 – March 6, 1973), also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu, was an American writer who spent most of her life until 1934 in China. Her novel The Good Earth was the best-selling fiction book in the U.S. in 1931 and 1932, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces."
After her return to the United States in 1935, she continued her prolific writing career, and became a prominent advocate of the rights of women and minority groups, and wrote widely on Asian cultures, becoming particularly well known for her efforts on behalf of Asian and mixed race adoption."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Remembering Chocolate - a Beloved Poodle

Summer has just begun and we already miss Chocolate, my daughter's poodle dog. He died of old age and heart failure yesterday (6/23/2013). We were so sad and sorrowful. My husband and I have been dog-sitting him off and on for the past few years whenever my daughter needed us. Because of her particularly busy schedule this summer: studying at Columbia's Teachers College and preparing to be a brand new high school principal in the coming school year (Flushing, NYC), she has a tons of things to do and must be ready for the fall when the school starts.
So we took care of Chocolate for a while this time, I was shocked that he lost a lot of weight and showed poor stamina, no appetite, no energy and shortness of breath. But my daughter said he might have suffered separation anxiety.
We tried everything possible to gain his strength back but to no avail. The last couple of days we sensed this might be his final stage of life, because of his increasing difficulty breathing, and lying down most of the time. So we decided to bring him back to NYC my daughter's home and his familiar environment. After home, he appeared happy, relaxed and slept soundly.We chatted with our daughter and had lunch together (her husband came home that evening from a business trip) and then said good bye to Chocolate. We headed home. No sooner than 40 minutes later, Melanie called to say Chocolate stopped breathing, just passed away. We all cried, tears in our eyes.

Reaching out for peace
Hydrangea and Clematis in two glasses

Friday, June 21, 2013

June Orchids Bloom and Award Night

Paph. Pinocchio. Buds are produced one after another. It seems never-ending.
One plant became two from division last year. I am so glad that both are
 blooming at the same time.

Paph. Delenatii x Paph. Chamberlainum " Long Life"
Please compare the same one from last month, now almost in full bloom.

Onc. Sharry Baby. " Sweet Fragrance" AM/AOS
Smells like chocolate, easy to grow. 

Blc. Hawaiian Passion " Carmela"
Award night banquet favor
 to take home. (6/20/2013)
Slc. Final Touch "Mendenhall"
AM/AOS. The flower is very flat.
I love the color.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Keeping in Mind the View from Above Book 4-15

I chose a wide open container to highlight the water and I designed the low horizontal style that can be viewed from above and all around. (6/18/2013)
Crepe Myrtle branch and Hydrangea in Suipan 

A Variety of Materials - Basket arrangement Using Garden Flowers Book 4-5

Using garden flowers to arrange them in the basket is today's subject. I picked at least five kinds of flowers plus a branch from my garden for this arrangement. (6/18/2013)
Materials: Sedum, Clematis, Hydrangea, Spiraea, white
Mum, Hosta and butterfly maple.
Container: Basket

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Iris Arrangements- Free Style

This is the last group of  blooming Japanese Iris in my garden. They have bi-color leaves. Beautiful!
Here are two arrangements (6/10/20130) :
Iris and forsythia in a ceramic suiban

Ka-bu-wa-ke  arrangement, two groups in separate Kenzan
in order to show water.
 Material: Iris, Spiraea Japonica and Spiderwort
Container: Ceramic suipan

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

With Flowers only

Most of the spring flowers are gone. These are my summer flowers I chose them for my arrangement, because of their pastel color. Surprisingly it lasted for five days. It gives you the feeling of the cool breeze on a hot summer day.
Material: Coral bell, Evening Primrose and Daisy
Container: Ceramic Suipan

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Only One Kind of Branch

Finally we resumed our twice a month class again. We have not had class for more than three months. I am so happy to attend the class today. We have two assignments: 1) Only one kind of Branch. 2) Back to the basics, Upright Style Moribana. (6/4/2013)
 A classmate provided us with a few big Kousa dogwood
branches for us to use. I cut a big branch into
two pieces and stripped a lot of  flowers and leaves until
 it reached my ideal form. I chose a thick ceramic vase
 for my arrangement. (6/4/2013)

Upright Style Moribana Variation No.1

Back to the basics, book 1-11. (6/4/2013)
Material: Hydrangea and peony
Container: Ceramic Suipan

Saturday, June 1, 2013


My tree peony flowers are all gone after I came back from 8 days on a New Mexico vacation. The other peonies also are almost faded. I am kind of sad and disappointed. Before I went, they were all budding.  Here are some still blooming. (5/30/2013)