It is said that the practice of flower arranging was originally used in Japan to pay tribute to the gods, and the floral arrangements were therefore considered sacred. In Japan, historical records documenting the appearance of traditional flower arrangements date back to about 500 years ago. It was in the seventeenth century that followers of this new form of artistic expression started creating the rules leading to the formation of what would eventually become the disciplinary art that is now known as Ikebana. The diversity of forms and methods that were developed over time made Ikebana a much more sophisticated form of art. In the end, Ikebana has become a discipline where the stage for the artistic expression is set by the harmony achieved through the combination of natural materials (flowers, stems and branches), the container, and the lines and forms that characterize the art of Japanese flower arrangement.
Putting it all together _ Once you have selected your flowers and vase, its time to start putting things together. If possible, first cut each flower stem diagonally about one inch from the bottom while holding the end of the stem under warm water. Use your kitchen sink or a large basin. This helps ensure each stem will absorb moisture and nutrients easily. As you cut each flower, transfer it to a temporary "work" vase, which should be halfway full of water.