Ikebana: The Art of Japanese Flower Arrangement

With their strong branches and textural foliage, herbs gracefully lend themselves to the traditional Japanese art of flower arranging.

For this wintertime nageire arrangement, a tall, narrow handmade vase with a line in the glaze that accents the arrangement’s motion. All of the plant material was killed by the frost and collected from the author’s winter garden. The shin, used in a left upright style, is a stalk of echinacea that has gone to seed. The natural branching of the stalk into three emphasizes how nature creates its own arrangements. The soe, which moves to the right, is a dried mullein stalk. The hikae on the left is a single stalk of dried Queen-Anne’s-lace with jushi of more Queen-Anne’s-lace, rose hips, and yarrow. The arrangement is stark and plain with subtle color shadings that take second place to the dramatic lines.