Japanse tuinen en ikebana/Japanese gardens and Ikebana

Op deze blog zullen we berichtjes en informatie plaatsen over Japanse tuinen en ikebana.
Japanese gardens, floral design and musings about living a good life.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ikenobo Shoka Shimputai

Vandaag heb ik geproefd van Shoka Shimputai (Ikenobo). Shoka Shimputai is een "moderne" vorm van Shoka. Deze vorm is er gekomen door de veranderingen in de maatschappij. Er waren nieuwe materialen (zowel containers als bloemen en planten), maar ook de woningen waren anders dan voorheen (er was geen vaste plaats meer voor een Ikebana-arrangement).

Om de Shoku Shimputai te kunnen maken was er eerst een introductie van de traditionele vormen nodig. De traditionele vormen hebben zeer vaste regels. Deze regels zijn bij Shoka Shimputai losser, maar dit maakt het er niet makkelijker op. De materialen moeten op 1 verticale lijn in de kenzan staan. Voetjes van hetzelfde materiaal moeten bij elkaar blijven staan.

De bovenste foto is een voorbeeld van onze lerares Els Claes. De onderste foto is een creatie van mezelf. Meer foto's kan je terugvinden op http://www.facebook.com/ikebanabelgium

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Een Ikebana stuk heeft een voor en een achter kant. De voorkant is het belangrijkste, de achterkant wordt naar een muur geplaatst. Het is wel belangrijk om de kenzan van alle kanten aan het oog te onttrekken.

Variatie 6 is een uitzondering. Dit stuk is van alle kanten te bekijken. Het is dus perfect om op een tafel te plaatsen.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Honeybees are great pollinators. Some say they are responsible for every 3rd bite we eat and for more than half of the blooms and branches we use in ikebana for their fine form, color and of course, scent.

foto: blentley

Green Tip: Eat Local Honey, It is Good For You.
And it supports local beekeepers that work hard to help keep these hard working flyers alive and well. After all, just to make one pound of honey, the approximately 300 bees must fly over 55,000 miles (over 88,500 KM) and visit 2 million flowers. Oh, and they dance while they work, too...

  • The first record of humans harvesting honey from bee’s dates back to 6000 BC. In these early days (and in some parts of the world still today), humans were honey hunters -- harvesting honey from wild nests -- not beekeepers.
  • Beekeepers around the world are experiencing a loss in bee colonies. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the Varroa mite and viruses it carries, bad weather, and the use of chemical pesticides are all suspected causes, but nobody knows for sure.
  • The antibacterial activity of honey is well established as a useful wound dressing for ulcers, burns and for promoting tissue growth. Propolis (bee glue), a substance made by the bees from tree resins and wax, is used in sore throat pastels and venom/sting therapy is gaining popularity for many health problems such as arthritis and MS.
  • Honey is a humectant, which means that it attracts and retains moisture. Add a bit of honey to your moisturizer, cleanser, scrubs, creams and even bubble bath for a wonderful treat for your skin.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Together

Valentine Ikebana

Ilse Beunen, Ikebana Artist, and Ben Huybrechts, Photographer 
make life, love and art together.

Lucky February has two blooms

February has  TWO flowers..the violet and the iris.

A Greek myth states that Persephone, a young lady, was walking in a field of violets when Hades saw her and fell in love with her. Hades took her to his kingdom and the world became barren. Hades allowed Persephone to return in the spring and the violets returned too. Persephone returns to Hades at the end of autumn and world is barren until she returns again in spring. Iris also has a  history dating back to Greek mythology. Irises come in a rainbow of colors and the Greek Goddess Iris, the messenger of the gods and the personification of the rainbow, acted as the link between heaven and earth.

foto: Bill Gracey

The iris conveys deep sentiments of faith, hope, wisdom, and courage making it a lovely choice for your Valentine, too.

Flower Fact:
In a floral arrangement, the iris bloom that has been out longest may die after a day two but if you cut it off the other buds will open.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

scented ikebana

Green Tip: Grow Your Own Herbs
A small indoor herb garden adds life to your kitchen and fresh herbs are like a summer breeze into winter recipes.
herbs in a pot

Basil, thyme, oregano, sage, and parsley are easy ones, but try what you like to cook with. You can plant them in almost any vessel but make sure that pots have drainage holes so that the roots don’t drown. Give them as much sunlight as you can and keep the soil moist and snip (from the top down) to enjoy.

And for what you do not eat you will find that herbs lend themselves gracefully to ikebana. Many herbs have strong branches with wonderful twists and turns. Their leaves can be beautifully textured and are usually fragrant. The ikebana arrangement with herbs can look AND smell good.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

De taal van Ikebana

Als je begint met Ikebana leer je niet alleen veel bloemen kennen (en hoe ze te knippen en te buigen en te ...), maar je leert ook een hele nieuwe woordenschat. Het leren kennen van deze woorden én ze juist gebruiken en uitspreken neemt even zijn tijd.

Een korte kennismaking:
  • de drie hoofdtakken van een Ikebana-arrangement: Shin, Soe en Hikae (in het begin sprak ik zelf van Haiku, maar dat is natuurlijk een hele andere kunst)
  • een bloemenprikker: Kenzan
  • een lage schotel: Moribana
  • een hoge vaas: Nageire
p.s. dit is een foto van mijn allereerste les

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Climate Change

Norbert Millauer//Associated Press
After what has been a relatively mild winter, recent extreme cold and heavy snow has buried parts of Europe claiming the lives of hundreds of people. Climate change is affecting us all, and all the time. But often, we only really feel it in the extremes.

David Hecker/dapd/Associated Press
Climate plays an important role in natural ecosystems- the interdependent system of plants, animals, and microorganisms interacting with one another and their environment. Ecosystems provide humans with food, clean water, and a variety of other services that could be affected by climate change. The more the climate changes, the greater the risk of harm. The recent loss of life is tragic and let's hope we can ease the suffering man and beast but also take action to protect and preserve our environment.

Arno Balzarini/Associated Press
There is great debate on the scope and pattern of climate change, but little doubt that we need to address our human impact. In the next weeks, we'll look for ways to "be green-er" and welcome your ideas and suggestions for living lightly on the land.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Winter Garden Observation

Winter is the bridge between years. It is a time to pause and see what in other seasons is a ripple and promise of new growth into a cascade of color and texture.
Photo: Ruth Bourne
In winter, you can clearly see the lines of your garden and consider where you might want to add height or interest with a planting or structure. You can note to the "warm spots" in your yard by observing in which areas the snow melts first…these are best places to plant bulbs because they will get an earlier start or for borderline plants that need extra warmth all year.
Photo: Petr Jan Juračka
This is time to prune deciduous trees— bare branches allow for a clear view of their natural form. For many shrubs, a good pruning done in winter—when plant energy is stored—will stimulate more vigorous growth, and a fuller, more flowery specimen in the spring. Of course, for the ikebana artist, it is great to preserve the branches for arrangements and some species like fruit trees and willows are excellent for forcing into indoor bloom. The closer to their natural bloom time that you cut the branches, the sooner they will open and the burst of color will be your reward for cold feet and fingers.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Celebrating a Japanese Garden: Adachi Museum of Art

For the ninth consecutive year, the Japanese garden at the Adachi Museum of Art has been named as the best in the country -- which also puts it among the most impressive in the world.
Adachi Museum of Art, Japan ©Adachi Museum of Art/© JNTO

The bi-monthly US magazine Journal of Japanese Gardening identified the top 50 Japanese gardens in its January edition, but singled out the Adachi museum garden, in the town of Yonago in the southern prefecture of Tottori, as the finest in the country.

Founded in 1980 by the late Adachi Zenko -- who started out as a boy hauling charcoal in what is today nearby Yasugi City -- the garden has been meticulously constructed to take visitors through its seasonal expressions of natural beauty, which complement the paintings that hang on the walls of the museum it surrounds.

All art museums change their exhibitions from time to time. Not many are able to redefine their entire environment in tune with the changing seasons. Julian Ryall writes of a visit to the Adachi Museum of Art :

….Before reaching the Moss Garden—replete with pine trees and carefully positioned rocks where the mosses can thrive—a short detour takes in the Juryu-An Tea House, where I am encouraged to sample the green tea as I admire a garden that has been subject to the most painstaking attention. Like the rest of the gardens, not a leaf, rock or pine needle is out of place. The gravel has been raked to perfection. The only sounds I can hear are of the wind and waterfalls designed to spill delicately into lower pools. Of all the gardens that I pass through at the museum, this is the most enchanting. 
It is quintessentially Japanese.
Interestingly, there is a house near the Pond Garden in which Zenko used to live, wherein I found an unusual tokonoma alcove. This alcove does not feature the conventional scroll, but instead has an open window onto the garden beyond...
Tokonoma alcoves traditionally feature a hanging scroll of calligraphy or fine art;
                    the alcove in this room is a “living” hanging scroll, offering visitors a constantly changing view of the
                    White Gravel and Pine Garden.
                    Credit: ROBERT GILHOOLY

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saving a Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden Art Research Department at the Kyoto University of Art and Design is a professional research institution founded in 1996. The mission statement recognizes that the culture of Japanese gardens was born and grew over the years interwoven with the close relationship between nature and people. And that by making many changes to natural environment modern civilization has accomplished a truly swift development resulting in many contradictions between the individual, society, and the earth. Through working with Japanese gardens the department is trying to find clues to resolve these contradictions.

Far from Kyoto is a garden designed by Nagao Sakurai, the first landscape architect to graduate from the Imperial University of Japan. He was selected by the Japanese Government to design the Japanese Exhibit at the 1939 Golden Gate and New York International Expositions. After the expo he returned to Tokyo, but later immigrated to the U.S. in the 1950s. One of his earliest commissions in California was the design of a garden called Shikyeon (now known as the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden), in Los Angeles.

Nearly 100 people gathered recently at a public meeting to save the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden at UCLA. The university recently sparked controversy in the community when it announced its plans to sell the property, including a house, despite the original intention of donors. Among the first to speak was Dr. Kendall Brown, an expert on Japanese gardens described the garden as an important symbol of Japanese culture in America. “It established a relationship with Japan after the war and added cultural richness and depth to UCLA.”

“We’re horrified that the garden’s future is at risk,” Garden Conservancy President Antonia Adezio said. “It’s a gem.”  A coalition of concerned groups is asking for a show of support (US residents can sign a petition, others can email support) for this place of natural beauty and quiet retreat. Every garden has a story, and this is one is filled with bridges connecting individuals, nations and indeed, the earth.  We hope it will be preserved, and perhaps even invigorated.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Shoso Shimbo, Snow and Summer

Ah, the fist big snow of the year in Antwerp!  All made cozy with a hot cup of tea and a glimpse into the amazing floral art of the Melbourne based Ikebana artist & teacher Shoso Shimbo.  Summer is ending there and this arrangement came from his garden. Elegant. And visit his beautiful blog for more inspiring words and images...

Violets for your Valentine

Sun on a Pansy
As the legend of St. Valentine goes, this Christian priest used the ink made from crushed violet blossoms that grew outside his prison cell to write notes of love and friendship. He wrote these words on violet leaves. These notes were delivered to St. Valentine's friends via the elegant bird of love, the dove.

TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)
Violets (Viola) are a genus of flowering plants in the family Violaceae, with around 400-500 species throughout the world and it are commonly called violets, pansies or heartsease. A popular houseplant, it can bloom all year 'round and is quite forgiving.
One quirk of some violets is the elusive scent of their flowers. A major component of the scent is a compound called ionone that temporarily desensitizes the receptors in the nose.
One wonderful whiff is all you get, so breathe deeply.