The last couple of days have been quite wintery here, with strong cold winds and some rain. In our garden the middle of winter is signalled by the blossoming of two plants in particular. The Cootamundra wattle acacia baileyana and the Japanese Flowering Quince Chaenomeles.

I took the photo above of the acacia today in the late afternoon sun. It is not there yet. I think it will be a further week or two before the tree is in full bloom.

However, when I went looking, I found these five small balls of blossom fully opened.

This is Joan's white flowering quince. I noticed last Wednesday that it had a small group of three flowers open on an otherwise bare looking bush. Something to look forward to in a few weeks.

The red flowering quince, which is in a more exposed part of the garden, had its first flower open about three weeks ago. Today there were a couple of larger branches that had enough flowers to make an arrangement suitable for tomorrows' guests.  

To make this ikebana I have used three branches, two large and one small. I have placed the second and third stems behind the one which extends to the right so that the whole arrangement appears to be a single branch. The third stem is the very small one in the middle, which leans to the back.

When I positioned the work in the living room niche I bent the finer stems inward so that the arrangement did not flow too far to the side. As I have mentioned in the past, these beautiful flowers evoke childhood memories for me. The parents of my oldest friend had an orchard and toward the end of winter large branches of apple blossom were arranged on the mantle shelf. I hope these bring you joy. 

The ceramic vessel is from Seto City one of the 'Six Ancient Kilns' of Japan . I think the style of this vessel is not actually a characteristic of Seto ware but rather a reproduction of a style from elsewhere in Japan. The shape and surface has the character of a cast iron vessel.

Greetings from Christopher
8th July 2018

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