My goal: to create a spring design in rectangular container without using floral foam; because I’m trying to practice earth-friendly floral design. You get pretty hooked on using floral foam, because there simply is nothing else like it out there – when you put the stems in, they stay put. But sometimes that creates an unnatural look, and the stuff itself sure is unnatural (and not biodegradable, and not good for you, etc.) Hence my experiment with using a kenzan, or frog, for a more complicated arrangement using spring shrubs and bulbs.
I used only one kenzan, because that’s all I own at the moment. My supply of all things floral is growing…but this is one area in which I’m sadly lacking. They do come in many sizes, and are popular in Ikebana.
I think the fact that I only had one kenzan actually forced me to remember my lessons in point of emergence. If you have no point of emergence – the place where all your stems seem to come from – then your design will look chaotic and just not good (unless you’re doing a parallel design – for every rule there is an exception. By the way, this is the same container I have used before for parallel designs.) The point of emergence for this design should be somewhat centered and mid way down into the container, fanning out from there. I started by placing all my woody material in, which additionally I had sliced vertically for better water absorption. This included snowball viburnum, and two kinds of azalea (one fuschia, one yellow deciduous.) I had some lilac but it was too toasted.
Then I added the big stemmed items (hyacinth,) the tulips and a few greens; and of course water at the very end. It was harder to work with the kenzan in this arrangement than floral foam would have been, but I think the result is a more natural look, don’t you? Maybe more wild and messy than I would have liked, but I guess sometimes you just can’t be in control of everything.
Now will someone please invent an eco-friendly floral foam? It shouldn’t be that hard!