The reason this blog has its name is that when I first started taking ikebana lessons here in Australia I used to gather materials from the roadside. At the time I did a lot of driving in the countryside for my work. I have always enjoyed the beauty of wild-growing things that so often have the character of the environment and the elements, wind, rain and sun, etched into their form.

For the last few weeks I have been admiring the rich reds and pinks that have developed in a patch of wild dockweed (rumex patientia). Below is a view along the intermittent waterway near our house where it is growing. In the foreground is the dock and some other weeds.

I think the intensity of this pink is extraordinary and beautiful.

When I started to arrange the dock I felt its simple character called for naturalistic treatment. So I have created a 'basic upright' arrangement in a ceramic suiban (flat bottomed bowl). This is the first lesson that we teach in the Sogetsu School curriculum. I have used a large beautifully coloured leaf on the lower right where we would usually have a flower.

When I finished the arrangement I realised that it was looking too wispy so I gathered some more leaves to give the centre of the work more body.

It is such a delight that Ikebana gives us the opportunity to show the beauty of nature even in a humble weed.

Greetings from Christopher
7th December 2013

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