Welcome to Christmas Day on the beach at Torquay, 8.30 am.

These dogs were certainly having fun. 

Waves splashing on rocks draped in seaweed.

We had lunch with our friends Heather (wearing red), John and some of Heather's extended family.

I loved Heather and John's Christmas tree made from a branch of eucalyptus. The ornaments were hand decorated by the visitors at the meal.

My Christmas ikebana has lilies and a branch of pine. The old silver lacquer-ware suiban was made at the Zohiko Studio in Kyoto.

Greetings from Christopher
29th December


It is just two days to Christmas and the temperature was 38 degrees today. Some friends from Naples are visiting and enjoying their first Christmas in Summer. We were amused to see this Santa Clause riding a cow on the back of a 1928 Ford truck outside a farm gate nearby.

I have not made my 'official' Christmas arrangement yet. I will show it to you next week.The arrangement below is using Strelitzia from the garden and red dock weed from beside the creek nearby. I like the space between the two main stems and the feeling of movement in the dock. The bowl is by Petrus Spronk.

I send my greetings on a hot summer day in Torquay, Victoria and would like to wish you peace at Christmastime. 
23rd December 2012


Since the beginning of December, we have officially entered the season of Summer . The weather has been alternating between hot dry days then cool and wet in quick succession. This makes it difficult to decide what to wear some days but, has been good for the garden, everything seems to be growing extra fast. My attention was caught by this unusual daisy growing over the front steps. It looks to me like rain splashing in a puddle.

I made the ikebana below from some Japanese Maple from a friend's garden and a nasturtium I found growing wild. I love the intense orange of the flowers (and realised too late that I should have removed a couple of them).

Greetings from Christopher 
16th December 2012


This large Dracena (I think) caught my attention because of the twisted form of its dead leaves. They are a lovely light brown and have dramatic black markings, perhaps made by water. When they fall from the tree the part of the leaf that attaches to the trunk is a surprisingly bright white. That part reminds me of a lily or an orchid.

In the centre of his photo you can see a dried leaf hanging in a cork-screw shape.

I thought they made an interesting form in this glass vase. Their curves create an attractive movement. The surprise is that they are very brittle which, makes them difficult to arrange as they have no flexibility.

I used the same material in a workshop given by Mr Kawana on the theme of a 'simplified arrangement' in 2009. His correction of the work below was to turn the vase so that the line was coming straight forward and therefore not visible.

Greetings from Christopher (in Torquay on a hot day where it is a sticky 35 degrees Centigrade).

8th December 2012


My students and I celebrated the last class for the year with 'Ikebana at Home'. The class was held at Nola Bird's house which meant that the students had to work in an unfamiliar environment. Unfortunately a number of the photo's were blurred and I am only able to show you a selection of them. The theme was a 'Christmas Arrangement' and was widely interpreted as you can see.

Maureen Duffy's work below uses silver painted vine floating above an irregularly shaped ceramic vessel with orange blossom on one side.

Ellie Welkamp used silver painted wheat ears and red cockscomb (Celosia cristata) with silver tissue-paper in a tall black vase. 

She also created a second work in a small kitchen alcove using red aluminium wire with the cockscomb in a glass bowl. 

In this close up picture it is easier to see that the wire has been arranged asymmetrically creating greater space on the right-hand side of the bowl.

Helen Quarrell, who made the work below, explained that her grandchildren have requested 'rainbow' colours to be the theme of this year's Christmas decorations at their house.

The work below is my gift to our host for the evening. I must confess it does not refer to Christmas. I have used Strelitzia from our garden in a large glass vase of Nola's.

Greetings from Christopher 
1st December 2012