Today is the third day of Autumn and there are end-of-Summer changes in the garden. This morning, after a cool start to the day, we are expecting 31C before a cool change.

The sun was silvery bright on the water as we walked along the cliff tops toward Bells Beach.

This view is of 'Winkipop', east of Bells Beach...

...and this is Bells Beach looking west. I was surprised just how many people were surfing. Then I remembered we are in the period prior to the Easter 'Bells Beach Surfing Classic', which has drawn competitors from around the world for over 50 years.

In the garden some of the 'Bella Donna' lilies amaryllis belladonna are fully open, while others in more shaded places are just coming up. I am hoping to have time to use them in some ikebana before they finish flowering.

In the meantime my students in Torquay were making arrangement incorporating drift wood this week and I was struck by the use of pink flowers, similar in tone to the Bella Donna. 

Val massed some pink Sedum from her own garden in a small deep blue bowl.

Kim used one small unidentified pink flower, pale blue plumbago and a bleached piece of driftwood.

He also made a second arrangement with a sinuous branch to which he added some small lilies that repeated the shape of the wood.

In my Geelong class the students are completing some of the exercises from the new Book 5, of the Sogetsu curriculum.

A couple of weeks ago the subject was to make an arrangement using a 'cross bar' fixture. This technique is particularly suitable for light materials and works well for a horizontal arrangement as can be seen here. Ellie has used a beautifully curved stem of rose hips extending to the left and a shorter stem projecting forward, partially covering a cluster of white flowers. The cross bar allows the principal stem to rise in an elegant curve without touching the side of the vessel.

My colleague Emily has some delightful photos and information about Kookaburras in her garden as well as photos from her ikebana class.

If you are in Melbourne this coming week, try to visit the Ikebana International Exhibition in Bourke Place foyer, on the corner of Bourke and King Streets.

Greetings from Christopher
3rd March 2018

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