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How To Arrange Flowers In A Vase

( Originally Published 1913 )

TREES are all yo, or masculine, so when they are arranged with any-thing else they must be above, while grasses and flowers, being feminine, can be put down in the Iower parts of the arrangement. But when your vase is a hanging one, a many-sectioned vase or a double bucket, you may arrange grasses high and trees low.

This is because such an arrangement is often supposed to look like a mountain, which has grass growing on its top and trees at its foot and in the vaIIeys.

A poem comes to mind here which is very dear to all Iovers of Ike-bana:

Musashi no ni
Kusa makura shite
Nagamure ba, Fuji yori takaki
Tokonatsu no hanna.

"Upon Musashino prairie I lie with a pillow of grass, and I see a IittIe wild pink, but - it Iooks higher than Fuji."

In arranging flowers in a three-sectioned vase the idea is this : the flowers placed in the highest section should be plants which would grow on a mountain top; in the next section upland-growing plants, and in the lowest place, valley or water-growing plants, for the last section represents also sea or Iake IeveI. Thus plants of all altitudes can be brought together in one vase. This order may be changed, but the three-sectioned vase was originated to carry out this idea. Trees are sometimes placed in the highest division, as trees do grow on mountain tops.

In a vase of two divisions Iike the one illustrated, only the Iower opening is used. The upper place is very shallow and when filled with water is Ieft without flowers and is supposed to represent the reflected moon.

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