I did something yesterday I haven’t done in years. It’s a thing I’ve done since I was a teen, but since the move to Ohio, I haven’t had the room. Some habits, though, just don’t die.
I picked weeds for the table. See, the Otaku Princess gave me a vase for Christmas. She thought it was a pretty vase, and she sort of remembered that I used to have lots of vases, and now I don’t have any. It’s not the vase that was stopping me, though. I can use many containers for vases, and have. Fun ones make arrangements challenging and creative.
What was stopping me? Lack of space and clutter. Flower arrangements – well, ok, this is me. Weed and stick arrangements – need space around them to display at their best. Otherwise they just fade into the visual clutter and are annoying to clean around. Now that we’re in a bigger house, and I’m keeping better control over the general level of tidiness (the OP also told me recently that I’m a neat freak. I don’t think she got why I hugged her), I feel like I can have flowers again. Ok, weeds.
When I was in my early teens, during my project to read the entire Gordon-Nash Library one summer, I came upon a book on Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. I was also earning pocket money at the time drying flowers and seedheads, to make into wreaths that I then sold. Which is why I was reading the arts and crafts section. But the flower arranging caught me, for some reason. The tripartite concept of earth, man, sky appealed to me, as did the lovely pottery vases used in the images. I was hooked.
Why weeds? Well, I object to paying lots of money for flowers that are just going to die. If I can find wild flowers, or flowers in my garden, that’s what I bring in. At this time of year? Well, it was funny, actually.
I walk in the house holding a handful of things I picked on my walk.
The First Reader comes out and looks at me. “Why did you bring cockleburs in the house?”
“The OP gave me a vase for Christmas. I picked pretties to put in it.”
“Those are not pretty. Those are cockleburs. Cockleburs!” he had a stunned look on his face.
It wasn’t just thistle seedheads. I have grasses that look like kitten’s tails, and some interesting sticks the OP handed me when she saw what I was doing. I didn’t do an ikebana arrangement with them, simply cut stems to create a layered duo of heavy (yes, the cockleburs) under the lighter, floating grasses.
“Cockleburs fall off and stick to everything!”
Yes, they do. Which is why I’ll find something else tomorrow to replace them with. And maybe experiment with a different container for a vase. And there’s a place in the living room I can put the taller vase, with something in it. Perhaps a few red-twig dogwoods, if there’s any in our woods. In the spring there will be flowers, until then, I’ll improvise. They are just weeds, but they make me happy.