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Season Of The Year In Flower Arrangement

( Originally Published 1913 )

THE Japanese describe the growth of the plant from flower to fruit as the moving of the plant soul from flower to leaf and from Ieaf to fruit, according to the four seasons of the year. In spring the soul is in the flowers, in summer it is in the Ieaves, and in autumn it comes into the fruit, while in winter it spreads into the branches.

Spring Arrangement of Flowers

In the spring Iet your flowers be Ioose and spreading. Have some branches bending slightly toward the front and others toward the back. Heaven is always upright, but with the branches representing Man let some point forward and others backward. Do this also with the Earth sprays.

Let the Midzu-giwa - the place at the base where all the stems must unite and appear as one stalk - be short, about three inches or so in Iength. The shortening of this part of the arrangement makes it Iook full and spreading, as all plant life is at that season.

The amount of water put into the vase is regulated according to the season. In spring, when the streams are fuII to overflowing, vases are fiIIed to the brim. The Japanese put wax on the edges of the vase, so that the water can go over the rim at this season and look as if it were overflowing, yet not actuaIIy spill.

Summer Arrangement

In summer use young green Ieaves in great abundance. Cut Ieaves off near the water in order to give a cool effect.

Make the Midzu-giwa shorter than at any other season, about two inches in length and make your arrangement very full and spreading. Bring as much variety into the bend of your branches as possible. Shallow vases, with a wide expanse of water, are most used at this season.

Autumn Arrangement

In autumn use a few golden or yellow Ieaves in your arrangement, to suggest the harvest time.

Make your arrangements Iess full, using fewer sprays and branches.

The Midzu-giwa becomes Ionger, about four inches; for at this time the leaves are beginning to fall from the trees and one sees -more of the trunk and branches.

The Japanese tell us to make at this season an arrangement expressing serenity and peace. By this they mean that we should make a simpler arrangement than in spring or summer and give more attention to beauty of line than foliage or flowers.

Winter Arrangement

In winter arrange flowers with few curves. Make your sprays or branches more flat.

Do not bring the Man and Earth sprays to the front, but when bending them away from the center spray bend them rather slightly backward.

Each line must stand out as clear-cut as the branches of a tree in winter. All plants have a sparser growth at this time. The foliage has entirely gone now and the trunk of the tree is seen to a greater height, so the Midzu-giwa is longer in winter than at any other season. It should now be five inches in Iength.

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