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Arrangement Of Branches

( Originally Published 1913 )

No more satisfactory effects or more charming results can be had than in working out Japanese rules with branches of trees. Here, as in all other arrangements, the Japanese prefer to follow nature. We, not so much from ignorance as Iack of thought and time, take branches from trees where they have been growing in a horizontal position and place them in a vase in a perpendicular one, with the Ieaves standing up and facing to the front instead of flat and spreading as they grew. The Japanese have, of necessity, to Iet the main stick stand upright. In this position it forms the trunk of the tree, and the smaIIer twigs are twisted into the form of its branches, thus making a small branch of the tree appear as a whole diminutive tree.

Branches are much used by the Japanese, for, unlike us, they consider them as flowers and use them for their most important arrangements.

To Put a Large Branch into a Vase without a Support

Take any well-shaped branch either from fruit trees, maples, or evergreens and you wiII find you can make an attractive arrangement by placing one such Iarge branch in a vase without any trimming or support, provided that you bring the branch into perfect balance. By this we mean that the extreme summit of the branch must be directly over its base. Often, however, when the branch is merely thrust into the vase, it will fall over to one side, thus - forming no attractive Iines and usuaIIy tipping over the vase as it faIIs out of balance. If this occurs, split the end for three or four inches at the base, bend one split to the right and the other to the left until these cut ends press tightly on opposite sides of the vase, and so hold the branch firmly in proper position. When the branch is too large and tough to admit of your bending back these split ends with your hands, put a stick into the opening to force it apart, as shown in the cut.

These branch arrangements wiII be found to make most striking decorations in rooms of large proportions. They wiII be found much more satisfactory than floral decorations, and they will outlast them.

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