A while back, I signed up for a three week course on blogging offered by WordPress, our host. With daily assignments, it not only kept me on task, it also helped me refine my blog, and more importantly, it allowed us, students, to get to know a number of participants whose blogs we found appealing. We challenged each other, and at times felt influenced by one another. To make a long story short, this gave me the opportunity to discover Un pied ici, un pied là-bas, a blog that piques my traveler’s interests as well as feeds my need to read in French. Her previous post, L’Orchidée Made in France is a pleasure to read and a visual delight. It also gives me a strong desire to work with orchids more frequently.
In our exchange of comments I was asked if orchids are often used in ikebana, and I answered that it was but mostly in demonstrations and public exhibitions. I offered to do a post on this topic which was not a terribly wise move. Going through my own picture files, I only found two pictures of arrangements using orchids. The first one, above, is a simple freestyle (jiyuka) of dendrobium orchids and aspidistra leaves done as a demonstration for my students. The second arrangement, a gorgeous rikka, is the work of a colleague, and was part of a special exhibition for the 35th anniversary of the Vancouver Ikenobo Ikebana Chapter of which I am a member.
I had a look through a number of books from the Ikenobo collections and found numerous examples of arrangements featuring a variety of orchids. Orchids are frequently used in Japan where they are considered one of the four shikunshi or Noble Characters, the others being the chrysanthemum, the plum and the bamboo. By googling, I found that there are a number of indigenous orchids in Japan, whether they are used in ikebana, I couldn’t tell.
Having promised more than I could deliver, I googled once more not wanting to leave you hanging. Here are numerous images of orchids in ikebana. Until next time I bid you farewell and thank you for visiting.