My Favorite Ikebana Arrangements in 2018 – January through June

My Favorite Ikebana Arrangements in 2018 – January through June

Ever since I was a child, I’ve had a dream of opening up my own flower shop. My love for nature’s beauty has always been with me, and it was always encouraged by my mother and grandmother, both of whom were masters in their own right when it came to flowers.

I decided to showcase the first half of my 2018 ikebana arrangements by dividing the year up into two parts. Although I’ve created well over one hundred arrangements in the past nine months, the total number of arrangements I’ll show my readers this year is 12 for every six months with a total of 24 arrangements at the end of 2018.

These are my favorite ikebana arrangements in 2018 from January to June.


Purple Vanda Mikasa Orchids
Purple Vanda Mikasa orchid arrangement 

Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you. Click To Tweet

My grandmother practiced the art of ikebana for many years. As President of the Garden Society in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, she was often called in to judge ikebana competitions and she worked closely with the Japanese Embassy whenever visiting delegations were in town. I like to think that I got my talent from her, and I wish that she had lived longer to see how her granddaughter is doing her best to follow in her footsteps.

My mother is still well known for her stunning gardens around our home – although these days she’d tell you they’re a mess because she never has time to care for them. What I saw this summer were still the gardens of my youth in Canada. She gave me a rich love and knowledge of gardening and learning how to work with flowers.

As a small child, I remember holding her hand and walking through the fields looking at wildflowers, and I’d listen to her ideas for what she was going to plant each year, from poppies and peonies to iris, lilacs, and all sorts of other gorgeous pleasures.

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One of the best things about going home is seeing the beauty she has created with the landscape around their home.

Serene Dream – Stargazer lilies, lily leaves, and orchids.

The focus of 'Flower' is emotion and to make you feel peaceful. Click To Tweet

After I got sick and realized that I was going to end up spending way more time at home than an average 43-year-old woman should, I figured it might be wise to start engaging in more meaningful activities at home, and thus my passion for ikebana and floral artistry was born.

This form of art has been in my family on my mother’s side for many years, passed down from my grandmother to my mother and finally to me. It seems fitting that I can continue in and create these arrangements, keeping true to my grandmother and my mother’s love of flowers.

I like the idea of working with living art by creating Japanese flower arrangements that change each day.

My regular readers might remember that I have a fascination for all things that are related to Japan. I’ve always loved the art and handicrafts of Japan – not the mention the food and their love of nature and quirkiness. To bring some of these ideas into my own home seemed very natural given how much appreciation I have for Japan.

Carrie Kellenberger - Floral Artist

Summer Lovin’ Sunflowers and pink roses.

Take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. ~Georgia O’Keeffe

Ikebana which means living flowers, is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It is also known as Kado, which means the way of the flowers. This is the path I’ve tried to follow in my own quest to become a better floral artist.

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The tradition of creating Japanese flower arrangements dates back to the 7th century when floral offerings were made at alters. Later, these arrangements were moved to special places in the home, usually in a tokonoma (alcove) in the home.

By the 16th century, Ikebana had reached its first peak under the influence of Buddhist tea masters. Since then it has grown over the centuries, with over 1,000 schools in Japan and abroad.

Ikebana arrangement: Hot pink Gladiolus, lily leaves, white chrysanthemums
The Sword of Truth and Enlightenment with hot pink Gladiolus, lily leaves, and white chrysanthemums.

Pick a flower on Earth and you move the farthest star. Click To Tweet

An ikebana arrangement made by floral artist Carrie Kellenberger using golden mokara orchids and blades of grass

A Balancing Act – Golden Mokara orchids and blades of grass.

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.Spirited Away Ikebana Arrangement

Spirited Away – An ikebana arrangement that evokes the feeling of movement in the wind with allium, turmeric flowers, and globe amaranth.

The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms.~Auguste Rodin

Girly Pop Floral Arrangement by Carrie KellenbergerGirly Pop with mokara orchids, chrysanthemums, and lisianthus in raku pottery.

I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty. Click To Tweet

A Hot Mess floral arrangement by Carrie Kellenberger

A Hot Mess is comprised of wang peonies and yellow freesia. This is a direct interpretation of my pain today.

To be free to paint a tree or a flower or a sunset, you have to feel what it conveys to you: the significance, the meaning of it. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

Working with flowers and creating living art allows me to cope with my pain and it distracts me from what is happening with my body. The pain is still present, but the process of creating overrules the signals that my body is sending to my brain. This is my answer to those days of darkness and sickness and how I build on my own strength and resilience when I’m not feeling like I can move much from bed.

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Art is where I redirected my focus and all my attention in an effort to alleviate some of the stress and heartache I was going through with these diseases.

Dancing Lady Orchids by Carrie Kellenberger

Dancing Ladies – A spray of bright yellow oncidium orchids seem to dance in the wind.

Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower.

Stargazer arrangement
Tower of Flowers with stargazer lilies, fuchsia carnations, lily leaves and blades of grass.

The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life. Click To Tweet

The arrangements presented in this post are 12 of my favorite arrangements from the first half of 2018 – from January to June. I chose two of my favorite arrangements from each session to show you today, leaving the rest on my Way of the Flower Instagram page if you’d like to see more of my work.

Please free free to leave a comment and let me know what you think or if you have a favorite arrangement here. I hope you have enjoyed these images and that they make you feel the way they make me feel – happy and at peace.

Wrapped White Roses
It’s A Wrap – This simple and zen ikebana arrangement is a fine balancing act with two white roses wrapped in a blade of grass.

The rose is the flower and handmaiden of love - the lily, her fair associate, is the emblem of beauty and purity. Click To Tweet

Teacup and Red Rose“Where there’s tea, there’s hope.” Creating magic in a teacup with a red rose in bloom.

The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous. Click To Tweet

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Post Author: Carrie Kellenberger

I'm a chronically ill Canadian expat who has been living abroad in Asia since 2003. I moved from China to Taiwan in 2006. My husband and I have owned our own business in Taiwan since 2012. In addition to my own work, I've been writing professionally about Asia, travel and health advocacy since 2007, providing regular content to several publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. Follow Carrie on on Twitter @globetrotteri or on Instagram at

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