About four years ago I was given a pomegranate that has grown well and is now producing beautiful bright red flowers. Well, the birds in the garden love them. I suspect the birds think they are already fruit. The consequence is that the ground around the bush is littered with flowers that haven't had a chance to develop into fruit. Mature pomegranate fruit is just what this ikebanist has been hoping to achieve. 

My frustration has led to the following desperate measure, netting. To ensure that the branches do not grow through the net I made a structure about two and half metres tall. There is a reasonable amount of room around the bush to allow for a couple of seasons growth, I hope. In the process I decided to pick two flower stems from a pale blue-grey succulent that were growing through from my neighbour's garden.

I thought the orange of the flower was a good match for this vase by Gail Nichols. This is a soda ash-fired vessel that is soft green except for a couple of strong orange flashes. I have added some primary eucalyptus leaves from the garden of the neighbours on the other side of our house. Their soft blue-grey glaucous leaves harmonise well with the similar powdery stem of the succulent.

On the subject of orange flowers, I picked the last few strelitzias a couple of weeks ago before they could be damaged by rain. It is only now that I realise that I chose a pale green glazed vase for them also.

This very unusual vase is by Graeme Wilkie, and not an easy one to use. However, I thought it would suit the rather dramatic lines of the two flowers stems. I was particularly interested in the space formed between them.  For balance, a single leaf with a dull maroon central rib has been placed between the stems to provide some mass closer to the vase opening. I took special care to have all the stems issuing from the vase in a single line that does not touch the sides of the vase.

Greetings from Christopher
12th January 2019


  1. I feel your pain with the bird problem at your pomegranate tree. For me up North it is the deer who eat every green thing in the yard. I know where they entered my yard so planted a hosta bed for them in hopes of slowing them down and filling them up before they found my Ikebana hostas. The only plant they didn’t eat was the highly invasive houttuynia that I tried every way I could think of to get rid of, unsuccessfully. The small plug I planted spread to take over and choke out everything I had planted in that garden. I finally solved the problem by moving! Here is a link about houttuynia:

    Now that the pomegranate is protected, I will look forward to seeing it in an arrangement down the road.

    I really like that interesting container by Graeme Wilkie and the arrangement you made in it.

    lastly thanks for the link to the article about Norman Sparnon, it was very interesting.

  2. Dear Christopher, wonderful arrangements. Loved reading your thought process and method of attack on these arreagments. Thanks for sharing this with us all. Happy New Year to you and Laurie, Michael