In Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens last week I was delighted to see some of the spectacular flowering trees that are transformed at this time of year. It is interesting that these same trees can so easily blend into the general lush-green of the gardens during the rest of the year. This is certainly their moment of glory and it is so nourishing for the spirit to soak in their beauty.
This is only one, perhaps the largest, of the Jacaranda trees in the garden.
A closer view of one of the lower branches.
Among the Australian native flowering trees, the Brachychiton Acerifolius has to be the most eye-catching. This relatively young one is at the bottom of the east lawn in the gardens.
Here is another near the Fern Gully...
...with some fallen flowers at its base.
This is a close-up of some flowering stems. One of the reasons for the intensity of the colouring is that the whole stems are also the same red as the flowers.
Grevillea Robusta is the other highly visible tree at this time. Like the Brachychiton it is another east-coast subtropical species that does quite well as far south as Victoria.
Only on mature trees do the branches hang low enough for the flowers to be photographed easily.
This year the Grevillea in our garden has flowered for the third year and much more profusely than before.
As you may imagine we are delighted, and I fantasise that one day a low branch may offer some flowers for my ikebana.
Nearly two weeks ago I attended the last Sogetsu School workshop for the year. It was led by Lucy Papas who chose the curriculum theme of creating a 'Wall Relief'.
I did not want to over-prepare for the workshop. However, I had some large dried leaves of Ficus lyrata and Ficus elastica. The F. elastica leaves were various sizes and smaller than the F. lyrata. They had dried with fairly contorted forms, so I painted the back of a couple of them with vermillion paint. In the workshop I arranged and glued them on a heavy blue card.
As there are no suitable unadorned spaces on the walls in our house, I hung it on the front door to photograph.
The smaller leaves are nestled into each other so that their painted backs only show where the leaf curls forward. There are other examples on the Sogetsu Branch website that show a great range of design ideas that I am sure you will enjoy.
Greetings from Christopher
15th December 2018