I love using lichens in ikebana. Lichens shows the patience of time and represents the long perspectives and the slow living. I found an old branch covered with lichens on the ground in the forest the other day when I was looking for materials for a wall ikebana arrangement. What I had in mind was something more sturdy, but I felt that this branch had something special about it. I also found some nice Birch Bark that had been curled.
Pine branch with lichen, Birch bark,
flowers from a Protea bouquet.
I ended up with a construction emphasizing curved lines, and thought of what additional materials I would need. My first thought was sticking to local flowers, but in this case I ended up using something totally opposite. Flowers from a Protea bouquet from the grocery store on the corner added the colour needed without being too flashy. I actually think they have something of the same magic as the the materials from the old forest.