I am surprised to see that the Swan River Pea (Gastrolobium celsianum) * in the garden is flowering earlier this year, and the Cootamundra Wattle (Acacia Baileyana) * is late.  It occurs to me that this may be a consequence of some rather heavy rains we have received early in Winter following a rather dry summer and Autumn.

The Swan River Pea, looks quite wonderful with the sun shining through its translucent beak-shaped flowers. 

The red Callistemon has also suddenly flowered. I suspect it has done so because I pruned it rather hard about a month ago.

Nearby the Banksia Integrifolia * is also flowering. 
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I have come to the conclusion that ikebana design starts with an appreciation of line, and once we have line we immediately create space; that is, the spaces on either side of the line or between lines. 

My first ikebana teacher always encouraged me to 'study the materials' and I find it is common for new students to comment on the fact that they find themselves looking at the world of nature with different eyes after only a few classes. So it was yesterday, as I sat having my lunch, I noticed the beautiful curving lines of the furled bud of a cyclamen flower. 

Lines are everywhere in the botanical world and each has its own qualities,which create a unique feeling when you stop to contemplate them.

In the class I attended this week, the exercise we were set was an arrangement using a variety of branch materials. At this time of year there is an opportunity to show the branch lines of deciduous trees. I have used apricot and fig tree branches and contrasted them with some Cootamundra Wattle. The latter picks up the grey of the fig rather well. The vase is by the Canadian, Sogetsu ikebanist and ceramic artist, Janet Keefe.

Those of you who know my teacher Elizabeth Angell will be pleased to learn that she has returned to teaching after a bout of ill health.

Greetings from Christopher
17th July 2016

* Click on the blue text for further information

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