Nauradika has an beautiful selection of Modern Vases, and our customers often ask us for advice on how to use them. Sounds like a straightforward question right? Well, without going as far a giving you an Ikebana (生け花), we thought we would tell you about Ikebana to give some context to this article, and then actually answer the questions of how to put flowers in a vase.
The Japanese art of flower arrangement is called Ikebana (生け花), which translates to "living flowers" or "making flowers alive." It is a disciplined and meditative art form that emphasizes harmony, balance, and simplicity. Practiced for centuries in Japan, Ikebana has evolved through various styles and schools but maintains a deep connection to nature and the changing seasons.
Ikebana is rooted in Buddhist principles and began as an offering to the spirits during religious ceremonies. Over time, it transformed into a sophisticated and highly respected art form, enjoyed by people from all walks of life. The practice of Ikebana involves carefully selecting and arranging flowers, branches, leaves, and other natural elements in a deliberate and thoughtful manner. The goal is to create a harmonious composition that reflects the beauty and impermanence of nature, as well as the practitioner's inner emotions and spiritual growth.
In Ikebana, every element of the arrangement holds symbolic meaning and serves a specific purpose. The arrangement's structure is typically based on a triangular pattern, representing the three main elements: heaven (天), earth (地), and humanity (人). Each of these elements is represented by a different plant material, with varying heights and angles. Heaven is the tallest and most prominent element, earth is the shortest and most stable, and humanity lies in between, connecting the two.
The choice of materials in Ikebana is crucial, as it reflects the seasonality and the artist's connection to nature. Local and seasonal plants are often used, with an emphasis on appreciating their natural beauty, imperfections, and unique characteristics. The vase or container is also an essential component of the arrangement, contributing to the overall aesthetic and harmony of the composition.
There are many schools and styles of Ikebana, each with its own set of rules and techniques. Some of the most well-known schools include Ikenobo, Ohara, and Sogetsu. While their approaches may differ, they all share a common goal: to create a sense of harmony, balance, and beauty through the thoughtful and deliberate arrangement of natural elements.
Now back to our original questions of how to put flowers in a vase? In a more prosaic way, here is a detailed step by step guide. We hope you enjoy it and don't forget to visit Nauradika.com for more inspiration and amazing value modern vases.
Choose the right vase: Consider the following factors when selecting a vase for your bouquet:
Size: Select a vase that complements the size of your bouquet. For small arrangements, choose a vase with a smaller opening. Our Nauradika "Soliflore vase: 80's style Acrylic single flower vase" would be ideal for that. For larger arrangements, opt for a vase with a wider opening to accommodate the stems. Here we would definitely recommend our Nordic Glass Vases.
- Shape: The vase shape should support the flower arrangement's style. For example, a tall, slender vase works well with long-stemmed flowers, while a shorter, wider vase suits a more compact bouquet.
- Material: Vases are available in various materials such as glass, ceramic, metal, or wood. Choose a material that complements your bouquet and the room's décor.
- Color: Select a vase color that harmonizes with the flowers and the surrounding space. Neutral colors typically work well, but you can also choose a vase that accentuates a specific color in your bouquet. As you know, Nauradika is famous for its selection of colours for most of our items. Vases are no exception. We have a wide variety of colours available, especially with our Handmade Curvy Tall Glass Vase and Nordic Glass Vases in a variety of colours.
Prepare the flowers: Follow these steps to ensure your flowers are ready for arranging:
- Remove foliage: Strip away leaves or thorns below the waterline to prevent bacterial growth and water contamination.
- Cut the stems: Using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears, cut the stems at a 45-degree angle to increase the surface area for water absorption.
- Hydrate flowers: Place the freshly cut stems in a container of clean water for at least 30 minutes before arranging to help them hydrate and recover from the cutting process.
Measure the stems: To achieve the right proportions for your arrangement, follow these guidelines:
- Determine stem length: Hold the flowers next to the vase to estimate the appropriate stem length. Aim for a final arrangement that is 1.5 to 2 times the height of the vase. Here we must mention our beautiful Tall Glass Vase, especially if you like having tall flowers in your house like Calla Lilies. This vase if perfect for tall flowers.
- Create layers: For a more dynamic arrangement, cut stems in varying lengths to create a tiered effect with different layers of flowers and foliage.
Fill the vase with water: To provide the best environment for your flowers, consider these tips:
- Water temperature: Use lukewarm water, as most flowers absorb it more efficiently than cold water. Some flowers, like tulips, may prefer cold water.
- Flower food: If your flowers come with a packet of flower food, mix it into the water according to the instructions. This food typically contains nutrients and a biocide to help flowers last longer.
- Homemade solutions: If you don't have flower food, you can create your own solution by adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and a few drops of bleach to 1 quart of water. This mixture provides nutrients, lowers the water's pH level, and inhibits bacterial growth.
Arrange the flowers: Use these techniques for a visually appealing arrangement:
- Establish a structure: Start with the larger, more dominant flowers to create the basic shape of your arrangement. Place taller flowers in the center, and shorter ones around the edges.
- Add filler flowers: Incorporate smaller flowers and filler flowers, like baby's breath or greenery, to fill in gaps and add texture.
- Balance colors and shapes: Distribute colors and shapes evenly throughout the arrangement for a harmonious look. Consider using the color wheel for inspiration, such as choosing complementary or analogous colors.
Position the vase: Proper placement will help your flowers last longer:
- Light: Place the vase in an area with indirect sunlight, as direct sunlight can cause flowers to wilt quickly.
- Temperature: Avoid placing the vase near drafts, heating, or air conditioning vents, as extreme temperature changes can harm the flowers.
- Surface: Choose a stable, level surface to prevent the vase from tipping over.
Maintain the arrangement: Keep your flowers looking fresh by following these steps:
- Change water: Replace the water and re-cut the stems every 2-3 days to prolong the life of your flowers. This will help prevent bacterial growth and keep the flowers well-hydrated.
- Monitor flower food: If you are using flower food, make sure to add a fresh dose with each water change, following the instructions on the packet.
- Remove wilting or dead flowers: As flowers begin to wilt or die, remove them from the arrangement to prevent bacterial growth and maintain a fresh appearance.
- Trim foliage: As needed, trim any excess foliage that may be causing crowding in the arrangement, which can lead to faster decay.
- Avoid exposure to ethylene gas: Keep the arrangement away from fruits and vegetables, as they release ethylene gas that can cause flowers to wilt prematurely.
- Rotate the vase: Occasionally rotate the vase to ensure all flowers receive equal exposure to light, which can help maintain their color and shape.
- Mist flowers: Lightly mist the flowers with water every day or two to help maintain their freshness and keep them looking vibrant.
By following these detailed tips and advice for choosing the right vase, preparing the flowers, measuring the stems, filling the vase with water, arranging the flowers, positioning the vase, and maintaining the arrangement, you can create a beautiful and long-lasting floral display that brings joy and a touch of nature to your home or workspace.
And don't forget to visit our nice collection of Modern Vases on Nauradika.com. We have created a vase filter page here especially for you. Enjoy.