Monday, 29 April 2013

The (Rea) Wee-ding Cultivator: Lafcadio Hearn on Flower Arranging

Lafcadio Hearn writes:

'I have come to understand the unspeakable loveliness of a solitary spray of blossoms arranged as only a Japanese expert knows how to arrange it - not simply poking the spray into a vase, but by perhaps one whole hour's labor of trimming and posing and daintiest manipulation - and therefore I cannot think now of what we Occidentals call a "bouquet" as anything but a vulgar murdering of flowers, an outrage upon the color sense, a brutality, an abomination.'

Britta thinks: Why judge so harshly? I see beauty in many bouquets - as well as in a single spray of blossoms. And sometimes nature is a wonderful expert in arranging its offers - here in front of a shop in Berlin. 


  1. Hi

    This is a lovely post with a stunningly beautiful photo! I love the single spray of blossoms swaying in front of the reflection of the building on the glass window. I have no idea if German people like your photo very much but I'm 120% sure that Japanese people would really love it. Like Lafcadio Hearn says, we often arrange a solitary flower( camellias and so on) and a solitary spray of various blossoms in an earthen vase or jug. I think this style of arrangement goes well with traditional Japanese rooms. I think flower bouquets are beautiful and fantastic. I have always been fascinated by gorgeous bouquets placed in lovely rooms in Europe!!

    1. Dear Sapphire,
      thank you! I love the Japanese art of Ikebana 生け花 - though here in the photo nature itself was the Master: a little tree in front of a shopwindow, and I thought: that bough looks lovely.
      I have a book 'Zen in the Art of Flower Arrangement' - I like to focus on clarity, structure colour and soul of a flower and thus often arrange a single (or a few) flowers in a vase or bowl - maybe often I was also too shy to take too many flowers out of my garden. But some artists are great in creating stunning bouquets (though Husband laughs when I often undo a 'mediocre hotchpotch-bouquet' and arrange it in several vases).