This last week has seen some unusual, very welcome, drenching summer rain that persisted for a day and a half and really refreshed the garden. The rain was especially welcome because spring had been unusually dry. This evening, as I watered the garden from our rainwater tank, I was surprised to see some plants had flowered following the recent rain. 

I was particularly surprised to find an out of season Hellebore flower.

This sweet little rose grows on a wire fence. The flowers buds are usually eaten, before they get a chance to open, by possums walking along the fence. 

It occurred to me while I was in the garden that many northern hemisphere readers of this blog may have never seen the flowers of New Zealand flax (above). They are not large, however they do grow along very long stems.


This photo shows some seed pods that, as the season progresses, will become black - as does the stem. The stems with their seed pods make very striking ikebana material.

I made this week's ikebana in Florida back in October last year. It was an experiment using a vessel from my friend Michael's ceramic collection. The vase being particularly tall and having a narrow base is not very stable. 

So I thought one solution to using it would be to place material outside it in such a way that the material would provide additional support. My choice of material was not good as it was too flexible. I should have used a stiff branch. The material was a large philodendron leaf which I stripped leaving the veins only. I drew the ends of the veins together creating a circular shape. I then added a small sunflower as an accent, shown in the photo below.

Thanks to Michael for the materials and the loan of the very striking vessel.

Greetings from Christopher
17th January 2015

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