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  • Writer's pictureLouise Worner

Contrasting Colours from the Garden

The end of May usually signifies the end of full-school days in Madrid. School hours are reduced in June, due to the overwhelming heat and the anticipation of three months of school holidays lie just around the corner. With the school year rolling to a close, I decided to take the opportunity to help my youngest daughter review some of the concepts she has learned in art class during the year.

Materials used

Colour is one of the many concepts covered in art class and, coincidentally, it is also a theme covered in the Sogetsu Curriculum. The Sogetsu Ikebana Curriculum has several lessons focussing on colour and one of the many lessons is the use of contrasting colours. With our garden in full bloom, it is a bountiful source of inexpensive ikebana material.

Wandering through our garden my daughter came across some large, overgrown dandelion leaves. She explained that she wanted to use them as she loved the contrast of the red vein against the green leaves. To complement the red in the dandelion leaves, she chose a stem of red freesias.

Placing the kenzan

Back in the studio, I gave her free rein to choose a vase. Due to the nature of her chosen material, I encouraged her to select a vase requiring a kenzan. She has been desperate to use the white half-moon vase and immediately decided to use it for her arrangement.

Placing the leaves on the kenzan.

After carefully studying her leaves, she chose two to use in her arrangement. Weeds often don’t last long in arrangements, so she cut the stems under water to help preserve them. In addition, I suggested trying an experiment, she dipped the dandelion leaves in water to refresh them. Having arranged both dandelion leaves in the vase, she added a single freesia stem for colour.

Adding the flower.

After a week our dandelion leaves are still going strong! Dipping the leaving in water helps keep them fresh longer.

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