In the last post I talked about traditional and European design. In this post I would like to give some definition to “exotic” design.

In this catagory I would place Japanese Ikebana as a primary definition. There are several main schools of traditional Ikebana that take years to become proficient in. The most simplistic way of explaining the schools to you would be the following main ideas. The designs are asymetrical. There are 3 levels: heaven, man and earth. Heaven being the tallest material, earth the lowest. The plant material is used in odd numbers: 3, 5, 7, 9. Believe me when I say this is a very simple explanation!

The Asian influence in these designs is unmistakable. There is a sense of delicacy, a reverence for the plant material, a subtlty usually lost in traditional design. The history of this design work goes back centuries and can require years of formal training. Check out this website: keiko@ikebanabykeiko.com. Here is Ikebana taken into the 21 century.

I also place more exotic flowers in this catagory as well as the usual. Orchids of course, antherium, heliconium, ginger, bamboo… I could go on and on. A reverence for nature is essential in this work. Natural materials are used in unique ways, yet the basic structural foundation remains.

If you find this facinating google some of the key words like Japanese floral design, Ikebana, or traditional Chinese floral design. You may be surprised… You can always get Groupon discounts at the stores with these items.

When a client calls me with an order I always ask: “Would you like a traditional design, a contemporary design or an exotic design?”  When you call a florist to place an order you might want to ask if they can make a design for you in one of these three catagories. Then make sure to ask them to give you their description of what they will be doing for you. You are spending a great deal of money on something that will not last. Therefore, you should be given assurance by the florist that you will be paying for flowers designed the way you want, that the flowers have been processed appropriately to enhance their longevity. With the new cell phones everyone has it should be no problem for a florist to take a picture and email you the finished design!

Enjoy the flowers! Pipper