The first of December is the official beginning of summer in Australia. For a short period my small hydrangeas look alright. By the end of January, or certainly February, they will be looking rather sad with their leaves and petals drying at the edges. Having seen them grow in the wet weather of summer in Japan I think it is wishful thinking to grow them in my garden.

On the other hand these scabiosa have gone wild in the garden to my delight. They are a Mediterranean plant so it is not a surprise that they do well here. When I was growing up and going to primary school in Torquay they were growing wild on the 'nature strips' in the streets and I thought they were a native flower.

I love the way they look like a meadow plant. One of Australia's famous landscape gardeners of the early 20th century, Edna Walling, said that a garden should be just a little too large so that some parts of it are always slightly out of control. I hope she would approve.

We are having most of Laurie's family to Christmass, so today I began creating our Christmas tree.  Because there will be a lot of people to lunch I need to keep as much space available in the living room as possible for people and tables. It occurred to me that I could use the fire-place flue as the structural base for an ikebana inspired tree. This is phase one. I used red cane inserted into the holes in the mesh surrounding the flue. 

Then I added bunches of gold-sprayed dried agapanthus to make the form of the tree. Initially I added holographic paper to the flue, but then decided it was rather too distracting. 

This looks simpler. I will include some pictures of the whole room on Christmass day.

Greetlngs from Christopher
11th December 2011

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