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While Ikebana has existed for centuries, at Botanica we are proud to be one of the first in the UAE to offer weekly ikebana subscriptions. We offer Ikebana not only because the arrangements are striking, memorable, and beautiful in their simplicity, but because we want you to experience a closeness with nature, and all the meditative benefits that come with practicing this ancient art form.
What is Ikebana
Ikebana is the ancient Japanese art form of flower arranging that evolved from traditional practices of appreciating nature throughout the seasons. The word ikebana has been translated as ‘giving life to flowers’ or ‘the way of the flower’. Ikebana is often characterized by its minimalistic design that emphasizes the importance of color, line, form and balance. More than being just aesthetically pleasing, ikebana is considered by many to be a form of meditation - a spiritual process that clears the mind, encourages creative expression and helps one to develop a closeness to nature.
There are well over one thousand schools of Ikebana throughout the world today. Each school has its own approach to Ikebana resulting in a large number of rules and styles. At Botancia, we want Ikebana to be accessible to everyone, as a result, we have designed arrangements that are easy to create and do not adhere strictly to one specific method. In addition to sending you the instructions for each arrangement, we will also demonstrate how to create the week’s arrangement in a video that allows you to pause and stop whenever suits.. This way you can focus instead on your creation and the calming effect of the process rather than get weighed down by any technical aspects. .
Below is an outline of fundamental concepts that you might here us talk about regarding Ikebana.
3 Elements – Heaven, Human and Earth
In traditional moribana designs, flowers in an Ikebana arrangement are placed to be representative of three elements: heaven (shin), human (soe) and earth (tai). Heaven is the highest and most dominant element of the arrangement, followed by human and finally, earth. The type of flower, the length of its stem, and the angle in which it is placed is dependent on the element that it represents. Don’t worry if this is all new for you, our detailed instructions will walk you through the Ikebana arrangement process each week.
Considerations of Design
Unlike traditional western floral designs that tend to favor symmetry, Ikebana has an asymmetrical balance. This means that the distribution of the flowers is unequal from one side of the arrangement to the other. Other key considerations include, mass, color, movement, form and the use of negative space. Pebbles, foliage or smaller flowers are also often used to hide the kenzan and the mechanics of the arrangement.
Approach to Nature
Regardless of the style adopted, Ikebana is steeped in the philosophy of developing a closeness with nature and the composition of the flowers are used to reflect nature in all its strength, beauty and delicacy. As a general rule, it is best to observe and follow the natural direction or shape of the flower or foliage, be sure to always face the flower upwards towards the sun, remove any leaves from the stem that are distracting to the design, and always trim your stems under water.