I have spent more time in Melbourne than usual lately, so when I came back to Torquay I noticed some developments in the garden. In particular, this week I noticed that some of the later winter-flowering plants have come into bud...
... including the climbing Lorraine Lee rose on the pergola.
The Cecile Brunner, whose 'parent' plant was given to me nearly 50 years ago by Mr Romney, the father of a dear friend. This was grown from a cutting taken from my family's garden.
Ikebana friend, Joan Norbury, gave me this beautiful white Japanese Flowering Quince Chaenomeles japanocia.
Former work colleague, Shirley Meyer, gave me this 'Apple Blossom' variety of Japanese Flowering Quince only a couple of years ago. I was amazed at the colour difference between these flowers on the same stem.
Close up of the rich pink.
Much paler flowers on the same stem.
This flower is on a cutting from my own original red Japanese Flowering Quince.
This fig tree, grown from a cutting taken from my parents' garden, shades our kitchen window from the western sun in summer. It was getting just a little too tall to pick fruit easily. So, recently, I cut the top off, also hoping that this would encourage lateral growth of the upper branches. Time will tell.
The reason for spending time in Melbourne was to curate and set up the annual exhibition of the Victorian Branch of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. When thinking about my own ikebana to go into the exhibition, I realised that the lines of the fig would make a good subject. As the branch was quite large and spreading, I decided to try fixing it in a large cylinder made by Graeme Wilkie of Qdos Gallery in Lorne. The mechanics of securing the branch were not complex but needed to be very sturdy. I created a 'vertical fixture' from a length of milled timber, that could reach down to the bottom of the vessel, which I attached to the branch with two screws so that it could not rotate. I then added some small stones to give additional ballast to the vase. I was not sure what to put with it, but found some beautiful banksia flowers that had a great colour harmony with the unusual matt olive green glaze of the vase.
The ikebana proved very hard to photograph because of the flattening effect of the photograph. I took this photograph from the side to show that the ikebana is more than a metre deep.
From the front this photo shows the interesting lines of the fig. As a subject for ikebana these bare branches reveal their shape normally covered by large leaves. The small buds at the tips suggest the promise of spring yet to come.
Click here for more photos of the Sogetsu Branch Exhibiton.
Greetings from Christopher
27th July 2019