In this part of the world a new year of ikebana has begun, and life will soon become very busy. I have enjoyed the summer break which has allowed me to spend some additional time in the garden. Firstly, keeping it alive through the hot dry weather and, secondly, re-potting and planting things in the conservatory that had become overgrown.

I held my first classes for the year last Thursday and it was good to see familiar faces and some new ones as well. The new students were made welcome by the advanced students who shared advice about where to find branch and other materials for classes. I had set some students the exercise of making an arrangement expressing their 'summer holidays'. 

Leonie made this light open arrangement with one of the agonis shrubs from Western Australia. She said it grows beside the driveway and was in need of pruning as it had grown so well in the past few months. Leonie has added a small group of Lisianthus, Eustoma, at the base as a focal point.

Val has used some dried grass flower heads, geranium and yet-to-open white 'wind flowers', all representing the red, green and white colours of her Christmas celebration. To these she has added the additional elements of summer fruit and a champagne flute.

Kim's work reflected his summer walks with his dog on the beach. On the bottom of a clear glass vase he has placed a water-worn stone, that seemed to float above the base; the inner bones of two cuttlefish suspended between the sides of the vase; and a branch that had washed up on the beach.

My own ikebana is a Basic Upright moribana. This is the first exercise in the Sogetsu curriculum, which I demonstrated to the new students. I have used an unknown woody weed and yellow roses in a blue ceramic suiban. For all its simplicity, this foundational arrangement has an elegant and fresh appearance.

Greetings from Christopher
3rd February 2018

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