Now that mid-winter's day has past, the early wattles are coming into bloom. The first in our garden is the Cootamundra Wattle, Acacia Baileyana * . I took the photo below about three weeks ago when the blossom was just starting to open.
This week it is glorious in full bloom.
The next close-up photo shows the soft mass of the golden blossom and the pale blue-grey of the fine leaves. Wattles are notorious for drying quickly once cut. However, I had success with these blossoms when, after cutting the stems under water, I then held the base of the stem in boiling water for two minutes before putting them into deep cool water with a small amount of bleach and a teaspoon of sugar.
I had been wanting to use the wattle from the garden in my ikebana and the opportunity came last weekend when the Victorian Branch held two days of workshops lead by Mr Yoshiro Umemura * from Sydney. The theme of the first workshop was 'Intertwining Materials'. I used New Zealand flax, also from our garden, with which I made a loose mass of irregularly sized intersecting loops. The wattle provided a focal colour contrast.
The second exercise was to make an arrangement using a 'Repeated Shape or Form'. I had grown some very tall reeds in the our pond and had never used them before. I was keen to see whether they would be suitable for making rectangles. They did work but the result was rather fragile and I was not able to make the best placement of the lemon, which I had decided to use as an alternative to a flower contrast.
When I got home I reconstructed the work and used the wattle again.
You can see more photos from the workshop by clicking on the blue text: Mr Umemura in Melbourne * then click on the tab 'Recent Workshops'.
* (click on the blue text for more information)
2nd August 2014