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The Martha Stewart Show, April 2007

Ikebana is an ancient Japanese art form of arranging living flowers. A minimal form of design, ikebana encompasses the idea of bringing nature indoors with living floral art. Though flexible in its execution, there are a few guidelines to follow for classic ikebana design:

- You can use any type of container, including platters, vases, cups, and even wine glasses to create your arrangement.

- The goal is to create three levels of flowers -- high, medium and low. The highest point should equal twice the width of your container, plus twice the height. The medium level is approximately 3/4 of the highest point, and the lowest point is 3/4 the height of the medium level.

- Asymmetry and the use of empty space is an essential feature to composition, so be sure not to clutter the arrangement with too many items.

- You can use any type of flower or branch to create your arrangement. But you should never use four of the same flower or branch in a single arrangement.

- The tools for the art include a Kenzan (pin frog), Hasami (clippers or scissors without a spring grip), and Hana (fresh flowers).

Ikebana supplies can be purchased at

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