Flower Dream 2017

At Flower Dream Expo, floral artists duke it out to the death, vying to see who can go furthest beyond your basic dozen roses

Just when you need a little something to lift your wilted spirits, the dog days of summer fail to dish up a single Japanese flower extravaganza. Which is why I’ve been saving these snippets of last spring’s Flower Dream Expo for your reviving pleasure!

Like this gravity-defying piece, the flower art at this expo always tends toward unexpected combos of petals and prickles…

…although this year’s offerings seemed especially briar-patchy.

From this attractive but slightly menacing use of leaves…

…to this twiggy caterpillar of an arrangement…

…the designers definitely didn’t shy away from throwing together beauty and the beast.

Of course, there were a few beautiful 3-D takes on Japanese sumi-e art, like this painterly branch that starts behind the translucent screens, but breaks through to offer a lovely bouquet

And this variation on an exuberantly blooming meadow, that floats like a fairy castle in the air

Roots are a popular theme…

…as are wreaths. I especially liked this one that was a sort of deconstructed version, with the interwoven elements floating in a minimalist box

I love how the leaves are the star of this show in this one

This one just totally charmed me, although I’m not sure how one might actually use it. It feels like it might be a bit too interested in my dessert if it were in the middle of my dinner table, and unless I decided to suddenly start sporting a rockabilly pompadour, I’m not sure I could really wear it as a flower crown…

And in case you’re disappointed that there wasn’t something more outlandish, THIS (Yes, I did ask, but nobody could explain. The what, the why & the WTF remain a mystery to this day.)

Read a novel set in Tokyo

In the wake of a deadly earthquake, fans erupt in a frenzy of mourning when it’s discovered that their favorite pop star is among the dead. But when Detective Kenji Nakamura is sent to investigate a death at a local shrine, he finds evidence that suggests the impossible: How could the head priest have been murdered by…read more