This first image is of the 'chimney pots' on top of the Palau Guell. The large town-house/mansion. Designed by Gaudi for Eusebi Guell and his family. Gaudi's architecture is inspired by botanical and biological forms. His study of them led to unique structural solutions to engineering and aesthetic considerations.

Here is a close-up picture of some fuschia I noticed growing in Madrid.

 Here is the vertical wall of an art gallery where the fuschia was growing.

The photo for this weeks ikebana is of some blossom I noticed protruding through the medieval wall in Girona, a small town outside Barcleona with a roman past

Greetings from Christopher
19th February 2013


While in Berlin I had the pleasure of meeting Ulrike Vogler (the director Of Sogetsu Berlin Branch) her teacher and their husbands over a delightful evening meal. The weather continued to be cold though most of the snow had gone by the middle of our second week there.

Barcelona is especially famous for this extraordinary building, the Sagrada Familia designed mostly by Gaudi and still under construction. 

We also saw this pavilion by Meies van der Rohe. 

While in Barcelona I was delighted to spend an afternoon with Marta Tiffon and some of her students talking and making ikebana.

This weeks ikebana is of dried poinsettia bracts and leaves that I made in a glass vase that afternoon. I added an extra stem to the bottom of the vase because I felt the design needed connection with the large space under the flowers. 

Greetings from Christopher
14th February 2013


The seasons are much more clearly defined in Europe compared to Australia. Now that we have travelled to northern Europe the winter is revealled by snow and ice and bare deciduous trees. Below is the sight from our window in Brixlegg near Insbruck.
Berries in the same garden.

These snow capped bushes were in the garden of the Gemaldegalerie in Berlin.

These leaves frosted with a rime of ice were outside the 'Viking Ship Museum' in Oslo.

When walking through the Tiergarten to the Brandenburg Gate my attention was caught by these snow drop flowers peeping through the mulch of leaves.  

While in Berlin I made contact with another ikebana enthusiast, Lennart Persson, who writes the blog 'Nordic Lotus'. So, we made a detour to Oslo, where he was a gracious host, and he and I were able to talk about ikebana together.

While we were in Naples I saw this beautiful ball of oak leaves and twiggs decorating the cafe in the gallery of the Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte.

The memory of those leaves inspired me to think about a winter arrangement when I came to Berlin. Below is my winter arrangement of some dried plane tree leaves that I gathered to make a mass. I added some other fresh leaves, in the centre and right, that looked a bit like holly.

I then added some rose hips for some bright colour. It was difficult to work in this open wine-glass shaped vase. I improvised by fixing the firmer stems into an apple in the centre of the vase.

I rather like the arrangement 'viewed from above', which I photographed in the bath!

Greetings from Christopher, outside the Munch Museum in Oslo.
2nd February 2013