Two years ago at an Ikebana International meeting our guest speaker was Mr Peter Leigh, from the Post Office Farm Nursery north west of Melbourne, a specialist in hellebores. At the time I was surprised that he described these plants as being 'hardy', even drought tolerant. Taking him at his word I bought four plants. This week I was very pleased to notice that one of the hellebores was flowering, in spite of some neglect in the dryer months last year. I think the plants have appreciated the increased layer of mulch I applied recently.

This photo reminds me of the description of hellebores being the 'heroes of the winter garden'. Probably a fair description for short stemmed flowers and they do look fresh and perky. 

A couple of days later I was delighted to see these little hands pushing through the mulch. I had thought I had lost two of the original four plants, not so. I am hoping this one will be a different colour.

At the beginning of last week I attended the July meeting of Ikebana International. The guest speakers were from the Waverley Bonsai Group * , who gave a fascinating presentation about their passion. Unsurprisingly, a number of principles that guide design in the creation of Bonsai also apply to ikebana design. For example, asymmetry, pruning to reveal linesemphasis on the trunk and shorter lines at the back to give a sense of depth. I.I. Members at the meeting made small and landscape ikebana to complement the subject of the guest speakers.

I chose a small leaved native, the Costal Beard heath * Lucopogon paviflorus, that grows on the cliff tops as the material for my ikebana. This medium sized shrub has very tiny white flowers that are just beginning to come into bloom at the moment. Its form, bark and the smallness of the leaves lend it to being interpreted as a tree in a miniature landscape.

This is how my ikebana looked. I have deliberately left some of the leafless twiggy branchlets on the main stem to imply a sense of age to my little tree. More images from the meeting can be seen by following the links at: I.I. July meeting 

Greetings from Christopher
19th July 2015

* Click on the blue text for further information

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