A couple of weeks ago we had an exceptionally violent wind storm that blew down a large eucalyptus at the back of our property. The tree had a long horizontal branch which added weight to one side making the tree unstable.

Fortunately there was no serious damage. However, it did fall across the middle of the New Zealand Flax.

The annoying thing about landing on the flax was that this year it had grown four lovely flower stems. Last year it had only produced two flower stems. I decided to cut and use the flower stems before a workman came to cut up and remove the huge trunk and branches.

This arrangement uses all four of the flax stems, cut down to about one quarter of their original length. The vase is the same one that I used in last week's posting, this time showing the reverse side. In the process I learnt why New Zealand Flax is not used as a fresh cut flower. They drop huge numbers of individual flowers, constantly. Also the pollen is a bright yellow and looks as though it might stain fabrics.

Here is a photo of the bright orange side of the vase. In the firing the vase was lying on this side, so it has no wood-ash deposits.

In this close-up you can see the imprint of a bi-valve sea shell that supported the vase and prevented it from sticking to the shelf.

A couple of days ago my friend Leonora sent the above photo of the tortuous willow in her front garden in Ottawa. The temperature had risen to - 3 C from the previous week when it was - 24 C (!).

This was the beach 9.30 Christmas morning. The temperature is expected to be the low 30's C.

After a big night, one of Santa's elves takes an early morning dip?

For my Christmas ikebana I decided to use Australian native materials only, in an unusual stainless steel conical vase.

The materials are: seed heads of spinifex sericeus, a single lepidospermum gladiatum leaf and three flowers of a red calistemon called 'Ned Kelly'.

I also used one of the spinifex seed-heads as the star on our Christmas tree.

Season's Greetings from Christopher 
Christmas Day 2016.


  1. Merry Christmas to you and Laurie and a healthy and happy 2017. Sorry to read about the loss of your mature tree and hope your flax will recover. Nice to see one of Santa’s elves now has time to relax and enjoy himself. I do like you Christmas arrangement and unique tree.

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