After buying a fresh bunch of alstroemeria—my favorite for our Ikebana vases by Georgetown Pottery from Georgetown, Maine—I decided to do a test to see if flowers really do last longer in the ikebana than a traditional vase. I have always felt that they last longer, but have never done a side by side before.
The photos will show you the results! After two weeks the flowers in the vase are pretty much shot but the ones in the ikebana are still looking fresh. The secret is that when you put the flowers into the vase, the stem is pierced by the flower frog (the pokey metal piece secured inside) so the stem accepts water into the flower for a longer period of time. I only had to top off the water in the vase once during the two weeks and it still looks full in there today.
According to Wikipedia, “Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, also known as kadō (the “way of flowers”). The tradition dates back to the 7th century when floral offerings were made at altars. Later they were placed in the tokonoma alcove of a home. Ikebana reached its first zenith in the 16th century under the influence of Buddhist teamasters and has grown over the centuries, with over 1000 different schools in Japan and abroad.”
We like them because it’s a beautiful way of showing a single stem or bloom, you don’t always need a full vase. Japanese Iris is especially nice in these.