In the garden this week the strelitzia (s.juncea) * has finally flowered; it seems to be late and has fewer flowers than last year. I decided I should use it in ikebana before the flowers are damaged by wind or rain.

Here it is beside the path and you can see why it is called the 'rush leaved' strelitzia. It has miniscule leaves at the end of long pointy stalks.

I was intrigued by the satiny appearance of the soft petal as it emerges from the spathe.


In this photograph of the same flower, you can see the soft folds of the still fresh emerging petal.

When I make an ikebana arrangement my usual starting point is the material itself. Some particular qualities of the plant will draw my attention. In this case the vibrancy of the flowers and the unique beauty of the emerging flower. Because these flowers are visually strong I needed to find other visually strong materials to balance them. In my ikebana storage pile, under one of the garden trees, I found some dried agave leaves that I had collected last year. They have beautiful texture (and still sharp thorns).

In this first photo you can see that the upper flower is still emerging.

I decided to use this visually strong vase, given to me by my Canadian friends who visited recently. The cylindrical vase has been manipulated after being thrown and is split down the sides. This enabled me to fix the materials as though they were flowing around the vase.

By the time I managed the set-up to take a better photograph, in the warmth of the house the top flower had opened! The unique vase was made by Janet Keefe, a Sogetsu ikebanist and ceramic artist from Ottawa.

Greetings from Christopher
22nd November 2105

* Click on the blue text for further information

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