I spent the last part of my time in the Army in Japan, in 1966.  I love the way the Japanese incorporate nature into their art.  I found the Japanese American National Museum site.  They currently have an exhibit called “Living Flowers”, http://www.janm.org/django/exhibits/livingflowers/
“Traditional Japanese culture has exerted a profound influence on the vanguard of Western art practices for over 150 years. Living Flowers explores this impulse by exhibiting works of contemporary artists alongside ikebana created by masters of the Ikenobo, Ohara, and Sogetsu schools of ikebana.

The title Living Flowers refers to the unique presence of living flowers in the galleries. The exhibition proposes that the practice of ikebana provides way to consider a range of formal, conceptual, compositional, and pictorial strategies in contemporary art, and that conversely, contemporary art can illuminate the principles and practices of ikebana.

The Japanese art of flower arrangement has its origins in fifteenth-century Japan. Over the centuries, ikebana has been transformed into a highly cultivated art form. Today it is practiced by many different schools of thought. Master practioners of Ikenobo, Ohara, and Sogetsu represent the oldest and most established sensei (teachers) in the Japanese American community of Los Angeles and have achieved high levels of certification by their respective headquarters in Japan.

The works of contemporary art were selected because they have affinities with ikebana and share mutual influences. Some of the art directly references ikebana. Other works explore similar issues of composition, ephemerality, shadow and depth, and the ornamental power of flower imagery. By exhibiting these two different spheres of art, Living Flowers highlights the connections between the cultural traditions of Japan and the West.”

Another picture from the exhibit:


I buy fresh cut flowers once a week for my dining table.  My favorite flower is the Lily of the Valley, my late mothers nickname, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_of_the_valley .

Do you have fresh flowers in your house?  Do you grow flowers?  What is your favorite flower?