On a walk today I noticed that the native Clematis (C. microphylla * ) had entered its seed-head-forming phase. At the end of August I posted some photos of flowering masses over bushes on the Torquay cliff-tops. 

This is how the small flowers looked at that time.

Now, two months later, the seed-heads have started to form masses of silvery balls. These will eventually dry out and be born away by the wind, spreading the seeds far and wide.

On another walk this week I noticed a wonderful collection of Echium candicans * that are planted along the roadside by one property owner. In our garden, a large Echium has finally come to the end of its life. However, its small seedlings appearing around the garden are being encouraged, if they are not crowding other plants.

Because these are mediterranean plants they flourish in our climate and consequently are at risk of becoming a pest weed.

On the same walk I was astonished to find another exotic, a garden-escaped iris. Irises are a plant I have failed to have any success growing because of the dryness of our soil. 

However, here it is flourishing in the bed of the intermittent creek that runs behind our house. I hope it survives because in Australia it is impossible to buy iris leaves from florists in the kind of quantity that ikebana requires.

Coincidently, in the same week my colleague Emily Karanikolopoulos has generously shared bulbs of her irises with other ikebanists, with instructions to grow them successfully in pots(!). This is a great relief as irises are the subject of one of the lessons in the soon-to-be-released Sogetsu Text Book 5.

Having found the irises in the creek I made the freestyle ikebana above, following some of the principles I had been taught at the Sogetsu Headquarters in 2011. The unique suiban is by Graeme Wilkie of Qdos Gallery *.

Greetings from Christopher
5th November 2016

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