Two weeks ago, Edmonton had its annual Orchid Show. It is a rather small affair compared to the ones I have seen in Europe when we lived there, and particularly when compared to the biennial Florissimo held in Dijon, everything will appear to be small. Next year will likely be a larger event when it moves to the Hole’s Enjoy Centre, an exciting new venue in town. I did appreciate the brief time spent amongst orchids of all sorts and, as usual, I had to take at least one home, but not the one displayed above. It is nonetheless a lovely star orchid, kind of purplish-brown in colour. I was also looking forward to the flower arrangement portion of the annual exhibition, but there were only two entries which was somewhat of a let down. One of the arrangements was a gorgeous freestyle but it would have needed a better location, a space of its own, to be fully appreciated. It did, however, incite me to get into my own arrangements, and here we have it, flower time again.
When I was at my daughter France-Andrée’s, earlier this week, I rediscovered this beautiful boat vase carved especially for me by my golfing buddy and old friend Clarence Brown. Clarence has long since passed away but his precious gift is still with me. It was carved out of Canadian cedar according to drawings reproducing the Japanese Ikebana boat at rest, known as the tomaribune. The arrangement made in a tomaribune is a classical shoka, a special shoka called denka, one that is difficult to master due to a number of limitations. Very few flowers are suitable for this particular arrangement as they are to be tall and thin to fit within the confines of the boat. The iris laevigata is often used and it is absolutely gorgeous when the tall slender narcissus is used. In this case I settled for the daffodil, it might not be the ideal material but it provided me with good practice time. There you have it, my first Ikebana arrangement of the new year, my very own hatsuike.