This time of year is always so intriguing to me. The days are getting shorter, the light is definitely moodier, and I feel the impending glut of the holidays. I find myself holding onto the clean simplicity that the month of September has to offer. I’ve also been really inspired by Ikebana, which is traditional Japanese way of arranging flowers. It’s all about striking a balance using your elements. For this Ikebana inspired centerpiece, I asked Sarah from The Stemmery to pull inspiration from this art form, while also foraging for bits of greenery from my yard. I know I say this every time, but this is my favorite centerpiece we’ve done yet! Without further ado, let’s learn how Sarah artfully arranged such a gorgeous centerpiece.
An Ikebana Inspired & Foraged Centerpiece
Flowers & Greenery
- white Japanese anemones
- variegated weigela
- English ivy
- foraged clippings including lilac foliage and gold Japanese maple branches
The day of our shoot, I purchased and foraged a combination of delicate and rustic textures and a single bunch of white Japanese anemones (seriously, these are a new favorite – they also come in variety of pinks and I just love them). Our materials included variegated weigela (so subtle and delicate, and I’ll warn you, not very hardy, but so worth it’s short-lived beauty), some tendrils of English ivy, a few clippings of leaf bunches and even a couple bare branches out of Joanna’s just-turning gold Japanese maple tree, a V-shaped branch of lilac foliage and a couple other odds-and-ends from Joanna’s yard. It’s really enjoyable to search your own yard or a nearby park for little pieces of nature that blend together well.
Before beginning the arranging process, I secured the three-inch flower frog to the center of the dish with floral putty. This prevents it from sliding around and makes sure it doesn’t topple over if the weight of the greenery you’re using starts to outweigh the flower frog.
The process of creating an arrangement like this really isn’t formulaic at all. Rather, it’s about creating shape and texture in a quirky, unique way. I wanted this arrangement to be significantly taller on one side than the other, balanced by lateral length on the other side. I used the branches and lilac foliage to really create height and shape to the arrangement and the weigela added some fullness and softened some edges in other areas.
If you’ve never used a flower frog before, you absolutely have to try it. They are definitely more of an investment than a piece of floral foam, but also much more beautiful, not to mention environmentally friendly. Each stem you use needs to be pressed into the pins to secure it in place – the pins are sharp, so this is really easy to do. The frog keeps each item secured exactly where you placed it. I wish I could use one for every arrangement I do!
Once everything is placed where you want it and the arrangement is in the location you plan to keep it, you can pour water in close to the top of the dish. I love the end result being able to see the flower frog through the stems, covered in water. Make sure to keep the water topped off, especially in a shallow dish like this one where it tends to disappear a lot more quickly than you might expect.
And here’s a sneak peek of what’s coming tomorrow for Small Space Entertaining! Be sure to stay tuned ;)
photography by Meghan Klein.