Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Late Mum Show, Memorial Service, and Special Orders

The Late Mum Show was held at Mandeville GardenWorks in Burnaby at the beginning of November. I had so many students who wanted to display, I didn’t have to! In all, 16 ikebana were displayed, six by Sangetsu. I thanked my students for making me look like a good teacher!

An old friend of the family passed away, and I was asked to do the flowers for her Memorial Service. I lent them my crystal candles holders which I decorated for the altar, and made a pastel coloured wreath to be used to surround a basket for cards, and then later to have at the grave site. There were also a dozen vase arrangements for the reception tables, which the family asked me to distribute to the helpers when the reception concluded.

Another flower challenge: Open Road was introducing a new alternative
to owning or leasing a luxury vehicle. The theme was “Flip”, as in flipping vehicles….I was asked to provide ten modern design flower arrangements with accent colours of navy and cyan. Okay…how about white flowers with accents of navy and teal (spray painted leaves, etc), arranged in white or silver containers? What do you think of these arrangements? Did I succeed in following the theme?

Festivals, Farewells & Functions

August was once again time for the Powell Street Festival. Ikebana was displayed in the hall of the Buddhist Temple, and there were two demonstrations both days. We (my daughter Kimberly and I) did the last demonstration. It was her first time commentating while I made five arrangements. Everyone agreed that Kimberly did a great job!

I was invited to the home of the Consul General, Asako Okai, for a garden party to wish her farewell. She was leaving for New York City to be of help at the United Nations.  I had assumed that others from the ikebana association would be there, but I didn’t see anyone I knew! Oh well, the food was good, and I chatted with a couple of people.

I had one flower order for the end of the month for a special birthday party. They wanted three purple and white arrangements similar to a picture from a magazine. Unfortunately, I only used one
similar flower and greens, but I achieved the look, and the customer was thrilled!

A Celebration!

Although I don’t usually teach in July and August, I had three ladies who wanted to take four double classes in July. So we made two different styles of ikebana at each class. One of the ladies is
even planning on continuing classes in the fall.

A very special wedding took place on July 21st at Grouse Mountain. My son and his fiancee, Christa, celebrated their nuptials at the top of the mountain with 90 of their nearest and dearest. Of course I did all the flowers, which turned out well (even though I say so myself). It was quite an endeavor to take everything up the mountain to have it all set up in time. We were so lucky that the weather cooperated, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The venue was great, the food delicious, service fine and the views spectacular.

With a Heavy Heart, Yet a Bright Spirit

In June, our family participated in a Celebration of Life for my husband who succumbed to cancer the month before. I wasn’t planning on making arrangements for the reception tables, but my floral wholesaler said, “You can’t do that!” when I told him that I was planning on having some potted plants instead. So my daughter and I made sixteen ikebana, and I decorated two crystal candle holders and made two western style arrangements. Despite our grief, I know the effort that we put into making the service beautiful would have pleased my husband, and we could feel his spirit with us that day.

On a lighter note, I was asked to make some ikebana for a Mercedes Benz dealership in Surrey. They wanted two of each themed arrangements to represent “earth “, “air” and “water “. They also asked for four to incorporate the Mercedes Benz logo. The latter was easy…..I used three closed birds of paradise each facing away from one another. All the arrangements had orange flowers to keep everything cohesive.

I also did the flowers for a wedding for a June bride.

Joan <3's her Customers!

February is a busy month for flower orders. I acquired a very appreciative customer this month, who ordered three large arrangements. One was for congratulating his dentist on opening a new office, the second was for his Valentine, and the third was supposed to be for his mother for Chinese New Year.

I say “supposed to be”, because when he saw it, he loved it so much, he couldn’t bring himself to give it away! He went to T & T to get her something else…



I was also invited to do an ikebana demonstration for the South Burnaby Garden Club, so I used as many branches and greenery from our strata grounds, and made five arrangements.

Merry Christmas from Joan!

I always think that I have started my Christmas preparations early, but before I know it, December 25th is almost here!

We had our last Ikebana classes for the year, in early December, and ended the lessons with some tea and goodies. Plans are under way to continue two sets of classes, and if there is enough interest, two more on Wednesdays.

Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!


Dear Joan,
Thank you so much for all the beautiful flowers and pieces that you did for our wedding. Everything turned out beautifully. Thank you!

Love, Andreja and Kevin

Christmas at Kristin’s

My hairdresser, Kristin’s Salon, in Burnaby asked me to decorate her salon for Christmas. Since her walls are mauve, I decided to use purple and silver. There was also a limited budget to keep in mind, so I decided to decorate a small lit tree for her entrance counter. I strung some snowflakes from her large windows and put fake glittery purple flowers in her real plants at each station. White lights were attached to each mirror and a small “Charlie Brown” tree with a single ornament decorated the washroom with a purple snowflake votive holder. She was so pleased with everything, and later told me that everyone who came into the shop was impressed. I put up everything in late November, and she is planning on keeping most of the decorations up until Chinese New Year’s.


Joan made the flowers for our wedding fun! She made the planning experience memorable and she had many creative ideas to match our vision. The day of the wedding the bouquets, the centerpieces, the corsages and the arrangements were really stunning and so beautiful, the colors were so vibrant and the flowers so romantic…. I absolutely loved the way my bridal boquet turned out. Joan took into account all of the themes, colors and flowers we were hoping for and was really organized. She literally thought of everything and helped our day come together with flower power and beauty! Thank you Joan Fairs

Kelsey MacKenney and Mauro Perizzolo

Thanksgiving Wedding

We had a busy Thanksgiving weekend. I worked on flowers for a large wedding for three days, delivered them to three locations, and attended the reception as well. I made eight bouquets, in the new looser style, which was a total hit with everyone. The two large arrangements which were displayed at the front of the ceremony, looked a bit like turkeys from a distance. What do you think?