What if it's flowers?
Should you hastily find a dusty vase under the cabinet, stuff the bouquet into it and put the “arrangement” on the table? Probably not.
Then you would have only one bunch of flowers; and no matter how lovely and bountiful the blooms, it's still a supermarket bunch of flowers in grandmother's crystal vase. No artistry here.
We use flowers sparingly in Ikebana unlike traditional floral designers, so it possible to get two, three, or even four arrangements out of one standard bunch of 12 or 14 stems. If you are lucky, some greenery is included in the cellophane funnel. If not, in the winter, you can use some of your houseplants for stem (line) material, e.g. Ficus, Philodendron, or Sansevieria (Snake Plant). In summer, most likely there are shrubs and trees in your yard. I've been known to clip errant shrubs and vines hanging over my fence, not without asking my neighbor of course.
Think about the lovely roses and pistachio colored button mums pictured here. What can we do with them? There is an Ikebana container that is just waiting for an arrangement. How many arrangements will this one bouquet yield? One for at least two rooms.
The answer will have to wait until the next post. I have no idea as I write now, but as my Sensei (master teacher) always used to say, "Let the flowers speak to you."
Until then, Z for Zen,