Last week I showed photographic evidence that an echidna had been roaming through the garden hunting for ant nests. 

This week, on another warm day, when I was walking to the clothesline, 'Spike' the echidna heard me coming and tried to hide by burying itself into a compost heap. (I say 'itself' because I have no idea how one determines the gender of an echidna.)

Some years ago we planted this rather interesting South African daisy, Osteospermum. I was fascinated by the peculiar end of the petals that made the flower look like a raindrop splash in a puddle. 

This year the next generation of the original, which has spread around the garden, has become a meadow where we had some unhealthy casuarina trees cut down in one corner of the garden.

In addition to the white-petal blue-centred version shown above, there are some mauve flowers as well.


Here is another garden. It is my ikebana friend, Kath's. She recently commented how delighted she felt to see the white Iris and the Blue Bells welcoming her when she came home. Together they certainly looked a treat.

When I subsequently visited her I was greeted with this 'welcoming ikebana' of white iris in a ceramic bottle from Kyoto.

At home I have been watching a particularly intensely yellow wattle (acacia) come into bloom over the past few weeks. Unfortunately I cannot identify this specific acacia. However, I have been attracted by its large buttercup- yellow ball-shaped flowers and thought it would make a good ikebana subject.

I was wanting to contrast the rich yellow with the turquoise blues in this ceramic vase by Mark Bell from Maine USA. The ikebana turned out to be, almost, a 'Basic Upright' style in this round-bodied 'tsubo' form vase. The principle difference being that I have used flowers for the two main lines (shin and soe) on the left and pittosporum undulatum leaves, instead of flowers, for the third (hikae) line, on the right hand side. The group of leaves has provided a counter-balancing mass for the flowering lines that reach upward and to the left.

Greetings from Christopher
7th October 2017


  1. I’m enjoying the photos and story of your echidna visitor. Those Osteospermum are so interesting and pretty, have you tried using them in an arrangement?

  2. Christopher, We visited Mark Bell and Jody Johnstone both yesterday. Mark had a kiln opening. Thanks for sharing your visitor and your art with us all. Best to you both, Michael