A few weeks ago I came across this spectacular giant Queensland Lily flower Doryanthes Palmeri in the Botanic gardens in Melbourne. An other form of this plant Doryanthes excelsa had straight stems that grow vertically up to six meters and are available from florists in Spring. They are great in large ikebana works and last well. 

Here is a close up of the flowers.

My attention was also caught by this amazing head of green flowers on a tall spike in the gardens. It is Puya Chilensis. The leaves are very stiff and spiky. 

'Mr' Wikipedia has the following information:
'Puya Chilensis, is a terrestrial bromeliad originating from the arid hillsides of Chile. It may take twenty years or more to flower...'. Which explains the cactus like spikes on the leaves and perhaps why I have not noticed it before. The flowers looked sensational.

Since last week I have added some glitter to the heads of the agapanthus on the 'Christmas tree', a gold bow at the top and covered the fire box with gold foil as I felt the black was too dominant. 

We have had some early summer rain that has spoilt most of the streletzia. I rescued these because I was fascinated by the double heads on two of them. The vase is from the Sogetsu school with a wax resist design by the Iemoto, Akane Teshigehara.

Greetings from Christopher 
18th December 2011

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