Garlic Ikebana?

Garlic scapes in the garden

We were having some people over for dinner this past weekend and I wanted to put together a fresh flower arrangement but with the heat and lack of rain, most of the irises were way past their prime and none of the other candidates were ready yet.

I grow garlic and chives in my garden.  Each year I have to deal with removing the garlic scapes and chive blossoms to direct more of the plant’s energy to the bulb instead of the flowers.  Most years I just leave them lying in the garden path.  I’ve tried eating them but I find the garlic scapes to be pretty fibrous and not very palatable to my taste but the chive blossoms are tender and are a welcome addition to stir-fries.

Chive blossoms in the garden

The scapes and blossoms, though, are beautiful.  The scapes emerge as  slender stalk with a stiletto-like blossom at the end and then start to curl into a pig-tail like whip.  The chive blossoms just shoot straight up with a Kremlin “onion-dome” bud at the tip.  They seemed like worthy substitutes for the more usual garden flowers that might go into an arrangement.

Garlic scape and Chive blossom arrangement

So, instead of leaving the scapes and blossoms in the garden path, I tried to do something more aesthetic with them.  Now, I’m not trained as a flower arranger, but I think I have some Japanese inspired impulse in me.  The vase in the photo is a contemporary form from Bizen, Japan intended to hang on a peg rather than stand on a flat surface (although it can do that too).

Garlic/Chive arrangement, detail

Is it ikebana?  Probably not according to any Japanese tradition but for a hot day in New Franken I think it might just pass.

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9 thoughts on “Garlic Ikebana?

  1. Pingback: Vampire Pesto « Another Stir of the Spoon

  2. I’ve used the scapes in flower arrangements too — they last well and really add a lot to a bouquet.
    But you might be interested in this pesto recipe. I haven’t tried it yet, but my neighbor says it’s addictive.

    8 oz. garlic scapes, coarsely chopped so they’ll fit in food processor
    1 c. Extra-virgin olive oil
    2 c. grated good-quality parmesan cheese

    Mix scapes and oil in food processor until fine. Remove. Add to parmesan cheese in a separate bowl. Hand mix until well-blended.

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