Well, I have shown images of winter sunshine in my last two entries and think this week I have to reveal winter in it's other mood. It was 10 degrees with a strong wind bringing rain on Thursday. Below is how the 'front beach' at Torquay looked. It was not enough to stop a couple of young men from battling the elements for a few moments of wind surfing.
I was rugged up and poked the camera out of the car window when I took these pictures.
This is how the Surf Beach looked with a rain cloud approaching.
Previously I mentioned how trees grow with a slant because of the prevailing winds. Just to the right of the above the picture is this group of wind blown cypresses. These are not native to Australia and lean they have looks the same on a sunny day.
Returning to last weeks exercise of an arrangement using dried leaves, this is what I had in mind.
I really love the amber colour of these dried aspidistra leaves and the elegant lines they maintain even when dried. The three 'mug' shaped vases are by Ray Pearce of Blind Cow Pottery in Bendigo.

Below is an arrangement using the 'red sticks framework' and some maroon orchids in a spherical vase by Don Jones.
One of the Joys of mid winter is the blooming of Japonica. I remember their flowers from my childhood.  I used to spend the school holidays with my best friend whose parents had an orchard and a large garden in which a pale Japonica grew. I planted this Japonica about twenty years ago in our garden and it is only now beginning to spread and be large enough for me to pick without ruining the shape of the bush. I have been looking forward to making a 'no kenzan' arrangement in this flat square platter that Laurie bought when we were in Japan.

The design on the platter is of blue circles each with a different pattern. The arrangement allows the design to be seen and the open space at the bottom of the arrangement  accentuates the feeling of the bareness of the branches.
I took my first class with my students this week and it was great to get back into the classroom with them. At the end or our eight week term we will be preparing for our annual exhibition at the Qdos gallery in Lorne, a resort town 45 kilometers west along the coast from Torquay. We have already visited the gallery, which is owned by a ceramic artist, and have started to think about how we will compliment his creations this year with our ikebana works.



  1. Hello Christopher.
    I am always looking forward to seeing your IKEBANA works and the nature inTorqay. I am specially pleased with your work using Japonica!.I feel your love for this plant .It looks like being inspired life by you and standing briskly. Amazingly I made a work using Japonica's fruit yesterday in Japan!
    The earth is wide!
    I will finish the text soon.

  2. Christopher,

    Love the arrangement with Laurie's lovely platter. Great combination and composition.

    Have been loving your blogs. Missing Laurie's travelogs!!!

    Best to you both, Michael