Generally speaking, when making an ikebana arrangement, one tries to make the arrangement in such a way as to reflect the present season or the season coming up. This is not always possible in western New York, as there are very few floral materials native to the area available to use during the winter. However, one tries as much as possible to follow this guideline. This guideline applies very nicely to those areas where there are four seasons. However, tropical areas for example don't have markedly different seasons. So ikebana arrangements there may not reflect the marked difference in seasons as those in temperate climates. Nonetheless, there may be differences which they may show in their arrangements depending on what plants bloom at any one time of the year. Even in tropical areas, there may be a wet and dry season and arrangements made in those seasons may reflect that season. The arrangement above reflects the summer season by using chrysanthemums, dock, and hypericum (St. John's wort). The baskets are used also to highlight the season.
The arrangement on the above left also reflects the summer season. Again chrysanthemums are used along with other summer plant material such as hosta leaves and limonium. In late summer and fall ikebana arrangements, it is not uncommon to use leaves which are showing their age such as insect-eaten leaves, and discoloration. Summer materials need to be matched well with their container such as baskets and earth tone containers. Some leaves which are showing their age with a range of colors (green with yellowing, and even brown discoloration) are highly prized for their range of colors and textures. Such leaves would not be well matched to a more formal, high-gloss black container which would more likely be used at a formal ikebana exhibition. The arrangement on the upper right again shows common summer plant material: teasel, dock, Queen Anne's lace and willow.
The above pictures here again are continuing the summery feeling with the use of baskets. The hexagonal baskets used here are typical of the Ichiyo School of Ikebana. All the materials, again, are common field materials which are not only good for giving the viewer a sense of summer, but are also good in reducing the cost of making ikebana arrangements as they are easily obtained during a simple walk in a nearby field. In the left arrangement we see the use of Queen Anne's lace again, but also more field willow and even grasses. The right upper arrangement also has the Queen Anne's lace, but also wild curly willow and goldenrod which has not started to bloom. All these materials were obtained in a wild, field area around my home.
David Williams: I've been practicing Ichiyo Ikebana since 2012 and received my Associate Master certificate on 9-19-21.