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Ikebana Vases

Living flowers

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Find Ikebana vases online at ikebanasmt.com and Etsy.com

On my daily hike along Buena Vista trail in the Boise Foothills, I'm noticing spiky little purple flowers push through the dirt. Last weekend, I leaned over and took a picture to post on Instagram; #springtime #buddingflowers #sickofwinter.

Flowers recently popped up at BWHQ as well, in an Ikebana vase one of our staffers bought at the recent Boise Flower and Garden Show ($38). Ikebana, Japanese for "living flowers," is the art of Japanese flower arranging. Like any art, it takes a great deal of patience and time to perfect, but Ikebana-style vases let even non-practitioners create delightful arrangements. The vases are often short, made of ceramic or stone and have a "flower frog"--a silver-dollar-sized circle of spikes--attached inside.

After trimming flowers to desired length, you simply stab the stems into the frog spikes, which hold the flowers completely erect, and add water to the vase. Flowers with sturdier stems like daffodils, lilies, orchids, roses and tulips work best, and Ikebana vases emphasize not only the flowering part of a plant but leaves and stems as well. The result is delightful. And "living flowers" is right: The leaves of the tulips my co-worker brought in sagged at first, looking dead but after a few days in their new, pokey home, they perked right up.

Though these Japanese vases are hard to find locally, they're popular on Etsy.

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