My attention was caught this week by the spectacular blossoms of a corymbia ficifoliaa native of south western Western Australia. This is a popular evergreen street tree and garden ornamental because of the intensity of its flower's colour. These range through cream, pink, red and orange. 

Below is a vibrant orange-flowering corymbia that is in the street opposite our house.

I have made an arrangement in a black ceramic vase, of 'fresh and dried' materials, using the corymbia blossom, agapanthus flowers and the dried stems of agapanthus from last summer.

Greetings from Christopher
25th January 2014


Three weeks ago I posted some images of visitors to our garden. Last evening we were surprised to see the echidna again while we were having our dinner. I had seen it earlier drinking from the saucer under one of the flower-pots, so may be we will be visited more regularly in the hot dry weather of summer.

A couple of days ago in the garden I noticed some aloe (it is similar to a.spinossima) that I had dug up several weeks earlier was turning a rich orange-pink and thought the leaves would be an interesting ikebana subject. I have added the flower of another succulent that has large lobed grey leaves and arranged them in a ceramic bowl by Phil Elson that has a black outer surface.

Later I added some pink geraniums. 

Greetings from Christopher  
19th January 2014



I was in the Royal Melbourne Botanical Gardens in mid-December and this Jacaranda caught my eye with its amazing carpet of fallen flowers. The house in the background was built in 1856 as the original official residence of the Director of the Gardens. It is now used as an event space. Notice there is another Jacaranda to the left of the house. 

Staying with blue, this small multi-headed 'blue pincushion flower' (brunonia australis) was growing in a local nature reserve near our house. I came across it on a sunny day also in mid-December.

In my posting two weeks ago I included a photo of this clump of Scabiosa growing in our garden. Like the flower above, it has a similar pincushion appearance with the flowerhead made of a cluster of smaller flowers. 

I thought the scabiosa went well with the colours of the acanthus flower spikes, also from our garden, and have arranged them in an informal summer arrangement in a small basket. In addition I have added foliage of acacia baileyana which is a soft blue grey. 

Greetings from Christopher
12th January 2014


Over the past week I have been enjoying postings by Lennart Persson on his Nordic Lotus blog and highly recommend them. He has managed to find a number of ikebana films on-line that are really interesting. You will need to scroll down to find them or click on the highlighted text below. The first (posted on 27th December), Art and the meaning of Ikebana made in 1973, is a general overview of the historical development of ikebana up to that time. The second, Ikebana (1956) features Sofu Teshigahara and will be of particular interest to Australians as Norman Sparnon is one of the students in a classroom scene about 8 1/2 minutes into the film. The third Ikebana: Flower Arrangement  features Kasumi Teshigahara. I really appreciate Lennart's thorough research and bringing this material to our attention.

This week's ikebana is a New Year arrangement using only Australian native flora from our garden. 

Banksia integrifolia, bursaria spinosa and meleluca hypericifolia. The ceramic vase is by Greg Daly.

With best wishes for a healthy and fulfilling New Year.
4th January 2014