Last year for the first time I grew some sunflowers from seeds that I bought. I was amazed at just how tall they grew. I planted them in pots because that way it was easier to monitor their moisture level over the hot dry summer. Their height became a problem because we get a lot of wind, so I needed to stake them.

In the photo below you can see the tallest one is over two and half metres.

It was fun watching the first flower slowly open.

I learnt that the head of the sunflower is actually composed of many small flowers. I have admired pictures of dried sunflower heads used in ikebana arrangements in the past and this was my goal. The large mass of the dried seed head has beautiful sculptural and textural qualities. 

This week I attended the meeting of Ikebana International in Melbourne and the subject was an Autumn arrangement. So this was my opportunity to try the dried heads. I really liked the straw colour of the sepals around the dark seed head is and have contrasted them with rose hips. The vase is more orange than shows in the photo below. It was made by the Bendigo ceramic artist Barry Singleton.

My ikebana colleague Emily has also added a 'follow by email' tag on the righthand side of her blog. If you enter your email address you will automatically receive her updates in your email. Click the highlighted text to see her blog. Emily Karanikolopoulos.

Greetings from Christopher
12th April 2014

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