On Boxing Day, a cool still morning, we had an early morning walk in the Royal Melbourne Botanic Garden. I was delighted to see the mass of Sacred Lotus nelumbo nucifera, flowering along the board-walk by the garden's lakeside cafe. It is wonderful to be able to stand so close to these beautiful flowers and leaves.
One of my favourite ikebana photographs is of a Rikka arrangement by Norman Sparnon made entirely of lotus leaves, buds, flowers and seed pods *.
I was intrigued by these unfurling leaves that looked like exotic boats on the water surface.
Outside the cafe tables and chairs were covered in fallen Jacaranda flowers.
About two months ago I noticed that one of the succulents, Agave salmiana, had started to send up a flower stalk.
When it was still just in bud form, on 11 November, it looked quite sculptural...
...and reminded me of one of the chimneys on the roof of the Palau Guell in Barcelona.
Later flower masses formed at the end of the branches...
...that were obviously attractive to the Rainbow lorikeets.
Back in our own garden, last Thursday I had to take some preventative action to protect the hydrangeas from wilting.
We had a short burst of a few hours of 40 degrees celsius then a return to the low 20's. Fortunately my watering and shading preparations paid off. The photo above was taken on the following day.
One of my emergency measures was to pick a few blooms in advance of the heat in case all of the flowers were badly damaged. I made this arrangement of three hydrangeas, from two different shrubs and teamed with some stems from the strelitzia. I bought the box-shaped vase by the Canadian potter Leta Cormier last year at Almonte, near Ottawa. She described it as an 'envelope form' and is from her 'landscape series'.
I had made an earlier arrangement in the same vase using a large sheet of eucalyptus bark and a King protea.
Greetings from Christopher
5th January 2019
* Japanese Flower Arrangement, Classical and Modern, by Norman Sparnon. p 61