Fellow Shiho ceramic studio student Hagiwara-san organized a new year ornament or shimekazari workshop. It was so fun to work with beautiful, fresh materials, including several types of pine needles, pine cones and woody seed husks, Shinto folded paper, rice, ribbons and ropes, berries and rose hips, even dried chocolate cosmos and other leaves.
In past years I’ve bought them from Muji or even the supermarket. It was fun how all of the hand-made shimekazaris turned out differently. Some had circular and oval bases made of twigs and bamboo, others were tied together in a bunch. I used wires to attach the mini pine cones and even a yuzu.
Hagiwara-san is also a loyal Tokyo Green Space reader. Thank you!
There is something very pleasing about the small berries on Murasaki shikibu, named after the author and heroine of the famous 11 century novel The Tale of the Genji. Here they are still green, but soon they’ll turn purple.
One of my favorite nurseries anywhere, Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco, just announced the opening of a floral store within the store, the Cutting Garden. Susie Nadler will be featuring plants from FGG’s farm and other California growers, using unusual local plants like proteas to create unexpected and wonderful bouquets. I have seen Susie’s flower arranging, and know she’s talented.
I also like the idea of a flower store that feels like it is gathering plants from its own “cutting garden.” It is far more ecological than the supermarket-style florists brining agri-chemical roses from other continents. And it may inspire some customers to grow the plants that they admire in the arrangements.
I love the description of some of the plant material they will be using: “otherworldly palm fruits and flowers; California pepper berry branches, with their spicy pink pods; delicate tree fern fronds with coyly curled tips.”
Definitely worth checking out! Here’s some fall bouquets.