My ikebana colleague Joan has identified the flowers in the driftwood arrangement in last week's posting as godetia *, a native of the coast of the north west of North America. The description of them being azalea-like strikes me as apt.
The peak of hot summer days seems to have passed and, after extra watering, the roses in the garden have started their second flowering.
In this photo the pale pink is cecile brunner, a charming, prolifically flowering, small rose. The deeper pink is a climbing lorraine lee * . The cecile brunner * in our garden is the 'grandchild' of a plant given to me by the father of a friend about 45 years ago.
Here is a close up of a cecile brunner bud that I find so exquisite. I used to like to wear one in the lapel of my sports coat. It also has a delightful, slightly spicy, perfume.
I took these next photos yesterday in the bright early morning sunlight.
The poppies had miraculously survived from the spring of 2013 and when I spilt some fertiliser on them they started flowering vigorously again.
This year I have grown some dwarf sunflowers as an experiment and above is the largest of the flowerheads.
When I went to class this week my ikebana teacher asked us to use agapanthus. Because of the summer heat and the lateness of the season most had finished flowering where I live. I cut some finished stems from a friend's garden and removed all the seeds from the heads so that I could emphasise the rather sculptural qualities of the ball of spiky flower stems at the top of the strong stalks.
I pressed the flowerheads together so that they interlocked and were then able to be freestanding without the use of kenzans or any other fixing at the top. The arrangement is formed of two groups so that the space can be emphasised and a dark leaved, orange flowering, canna lily * is used as a contrast.
Greetings from Christopher
28th February 2015
* Click on the blue text for further information