DUNEDIN New Zealand

For those of you who, like me, have read Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' (more than once), or seen the Peter Jackson film (more than once), you may have been amused and delighted to read a sign at the Wellington airport. It read, the 'Middle of Middle Earth'. You would also be similarly delighted to see the gigantic sculptures in the main concourse of the airport. 

The wizard, Gandalf, riding on the giant eagle, Gwaihir...

...and Gollum.

And the reason for these images becomes evident in the photos below.

The hills in Martinborough appear to be covered in thick green velvet...

...and inhabited by curious and alert sheep. Where else would you find a rural paradise like that described by Tolkien?

I was in the Wellington airport to catch a flight to my next ikebana assignment, two workshops in Dunedin on the southwest coast of the south island (Te Waipounamu). Day one was spent collecting materials from the gardens of ikebanists, their family members and the roadside. The next day I gave a workshop on the theme of 'an arrangement in a suiban, without the use of a kenzan'.

My demonstration example, above, was created with apple tree branches arranged, because of the width of the branches, in two suibans. I have added iris stems with bright orange seeds and St John's Wort (hypericum * ) Of course, this provided an opportunity for the participants to practise their wiring technique.

In the afternoon the workshop theme was, 'an arrangement using fruiting branches'. I used some branches with apples, that fortunately did not fall off, and some yellow roses that enhanced the ripening colour of the highest apple on the branch. The block of wood under the vase was necessary to stabilise it, as the table was covered in a layer of soft spongy material. You will see it in a couple of the photos of the participants' work. Dunedin Workshop Photos *.

Greetings from Christopher, in Dunedin NZ.
17th May 2015

* Click on the blue text for additional information.

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