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Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Chrysanthemum

by habituallychic

11 . 12 . 07

It’s a joke among my friends that I don’t do outer boroughs, but if there ever a time to make an exception, it would be for the New York Botanical Garden. Running through November 18th, is Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Chrysanthemum, the exhibition touted as the most elaborate flower show and cultural celebration ever presented by the New York Botanical Garden in it’s 116-year history. Kiku is the art of meticulously cultivated chrysanthemums, a traditional Japanese art never before seen on this scale outside Japan and culminates a five year collaboration with Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo. I’m sure you’ll agree that the styles of Kiku below are nothing short of amazing.

Kengai or “Cascade” are small flowered chrysanthemums trained in boat shaped frameworks that cascade downward like waterfalls for lengths of six and a half feet away from the potted root ball and require a 11 months to train.

Ozukuri which means “Thousand Bloom” is a single chrysanthemum trained to produce hundreds of simultaneous blossoms in a massive, dome shaped array. It requires a minimum of 11 – 12 months to train and are planted in custom built wooden containers called sekidai.

Ogiku means “single stem” and features single stems that can reach six feet tall with one perfect bloom balanced on top. They are precisely arranged in diagonal lines that decrease in height from the back of the bed to the front. They are presented in color arrangements that resemble traditional Japanese horse bridle reins called tazuna-ue.

Kiku was also the inspiration for New York jewelry designer Mish Tworkowski, a passionate gardener and Asian art collector. He has designed his Kiku Fine Jewelry Collection to benefit The New York Botanical Garden. Fifteen percent of all sales will be donated to the garden…that is if you can afford them.

The Kiku Brooch is 18k yellow and rose gold with white and champagne diamonds and sells for $32,000. If that is too steep for you, perhaps the Kiku earrings would be a better option. The 18k gold pair are $5,900 while the 18k rose gold pair with white and champagne diamonds is $9,900.

If nothing else, perhaps the art of Kiku will cause you look at mums in a whole different light and appreciate the art of possibility.

Comments Closed

  1. Suzy November 12, 2007 | 5:27 am

    Sounds fantastic. The Japanese really do have a way with gardening/flower arranging.

  2. RJH dl H November 12, 2007 | 12:07 pm

    What a nice post,different and interesting.

    The Kiku earrings reminded me of the Chanel camelia earrings/clips my grandmother always wears so very well!

    Hope you had a great weekend!

  3. Me, Myself, & I November 12, 2007 | 2:33 pm

    What stunning jewelry. They seem so very classy.

  4. Alice Olive November 12, 2007 | 3:12 pm

    These are so delicate and I love that the displays are deliberately so simple and ‘geometrical’.

    Did you take the photos? The close-up shots show the detail beautifully.

  5. Brilliant Asylum November 12, 2007 | 3:28 pm

    I have never seen flowers trained to grow like this before. Very cool. I need to make a special trip.

  6. Anonymous November 12, 2007 | 3:47 pm

    This display is beautiful. It is not, however, the only one of it’s kind. Longwood Gardens in PA does a much larger display using the same techniques every year.

  7. Habitually Chic November 12, 2007 | 5:27 pm

    Suzy, I think it’s funny how they call it “training” flowers. Who knew that was even possible!

  8. Habitually Chic November 12, 2007 | 5:30 pm

    RJH dl H, thanks! I saw a program on TV about how they train the flowers and found it fascinating. And then I received the jewelry brochure which made it seem like a great post idea. Glad you appreciated it!

  9. Habitually Chic November 12, 2007 | 5:31 pm

    Me, Myself and I – Mish has the most amazing jewelry. And he is the nicest man you’ll ever meet. He told me I could have a discount at his boutique but I don’t even think that would help me afford anything he designs. Sigh.

  10. Habitually Chic November 12, 2007 | 5:32 pm

    Alice, I did not take the photographs. I keep meaning to post some of my own work but I never seem to get around to it. Maybe soon.

  11. Habitually Chic November 12, 2007 | 5:33 pm

    BA, I found Kiku to be the most amazing thing I have ever seen in the gardening world.

  12. RJH dl H November 12, 2007 | 7:12 pm

    HC,I took a peek into Mish’s web page and it is fantastic,loved viewing it,spectacular and sensational and very wearable jewlery,he is so talented and what a great smile he has.I will reserve some time to visit his boutique next time I am in NYC!

  13. katiedid November 13, 2007 | 4:55 am

    The garden is spectacular. Really artful and very beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Mrs. Blandings November 13, 2007 | 6:13 pm

    Fabulous post! Love the jewelry tie in at the end.