Esprit Bonsai International – August 2019

(Nancy Kaufman) #1
74 - EspritBonsaiInternational #101

Senshin Ikenobo

Text: Marette Renaudin
Photos: Bénédicte de Saint-Martin

   Plants and summer heat inspire refreshing

arrangements, with water suggested or

even included as a compositional element.

What most permeates ikebana is nature.
Ever since the 7th century, the idea of “great nature”
associated with Buddhism has held an important
place in the development of the traditional styles of-
fered to Buddha. Although from the 16th century to
today arrangements, vases and styles have undergone
radical transformation in line with social change, the
notion of ephemeral nature with its passing seasons
has remained one of the main rules required for ma-
king an ikebana arrangement.
In practice, it is of course all about connecting with
plants that celebrate every moment of the year. So
the summer season suggests refreshing compositions
that take account of the variety and colours of plants,
marrying them to suitable vases in styles chosen to
give a sense of cool when temperatures are at their

Suggesting water
In terms of plant matter, aquatic species such as
bulrushes, reeds, iris leaves, lotus, waterlilies or wa-
ter irises are popular choices. Arums, blue irises, gen-
tians and montbretias are also good options. Blue-
berry (natsuhaze) branches, which turn crimson in
the autumn, symbolise Japan’s dense forests. In the
transition from summer to autumn, chrysanthemums
make their first appearance.
Green-coloured plants in paler, near-yellow tones
give a note of freshness. A spot of blue or red in the
arrangement can be energising. White will add par-
ticular elegance.
As for containers, when the weather is getting hotter
and hotter, it’s good to opt for simple, restrained ones



summer cool

 Shin-ka-tai style
Branch of Japanese
blueberry (natsuhaze),
leaves of Iris orientalis
and Choisya.
Here, the iris leaf gives
elan to the pared-
back branch. The
combination of greens
in tune with the
vase gives a cooling
look. Arrangement
by Tadjima Sensei.

 Natural-style suiban
Japanese blueberry (natsuhaze), chrysanthemums,
Solomon’s seal. The celadon pot showcases the
water’s surface. Arrangement by Tadjima Sensei.
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