Thursday, 17 July 2014


I'd like to start this post with a big thank you to all of you who are following this blog. My computer tells me there are 4,200 page views to date, which comes as a very pleasant surprise to me.

I mentioned before that there is a lot of work needed in my garden and I allocated last Sunday and Monday exclusively to pruning and weeding. This had two beneficial results - the garden looks a bit more tidy and I had a lot of cuttings for ikebana. So I decided the theme for this post would be 'Ikabana from prunings'.

The arrangement below is made with rose hips from my 'Altisimo' rose, which is a semi-climber and produces some very long stems. They are very thorny and difficult to work with but I love the look of them under water in a glass container. This is also an example of an arrangement 'Using only one kind of material'.

The container in this next arrangement is one I made many years ago and is much loved. I used this very interesting Strelitzia leaf and rose hips. The anthurium was not a pruning but was cut from my pot plant that is growing in my bathroom.

My tropical Strelitzia (Nicolai) is getting a little out of hand so I cut some very large fronds. I removed most of the fleshy part of the leaves, leaving the stem and spine with a little bit of the leaf. Some bending and manipulation later and I managed to get them to stay, pushing against the heavy glass containers. The large calla lilies were all that was needed to complete the arrangement .

This next arrangement is one I'm particularly fond of. The main material was cut from the same Strelitzia leaf that I used in the previous arrangement. It is the lower part of the stem, which is thicker and when split lengthwise it reveals this interesting corrugated effect. The close-up shows this more clearly. The glass container shows it to best advantage and my accidentally broken stem of begonia adds the necessary colour contrast.

This is also an example of an arrangement 'To be Viewed from All Sides'.

There were many dead leaves in my Strelitzia Reginae, which had to be removed. Because they don't require water, these type of leaves are very versatile and can be sprayed any colour. This time, however, I used them in their natural colour in this unusual container and added a couple of hydrangeas that were originally white but have changed colour as they aged.

I also have a very slow growing contorted hazel at the front of my house, which rarely gets cut. It gets long straight suckers coming up from the roots, which must be removed. Whilst doing that, I accidentally broke a piece of the twisted part and, so, it made it into this arrangement and into this post.

I have about 10 Dietes plants alternating with oleanders creating an informal hedge between the neighbours' and our properties. The dietes were looking very scruffy, especially because there were a lot of buffalo grass weeds in between them. So I cut them right down, thus allowing me to get to the weeds. Well, most of them, anyway. Those things are tough to get rid of.

This provided me with bucket-loads of lovely long thin leaves perfect for an ikebana workshop. So I notified my students that for class this week we would workshop dietes leaves. It was a lot of fun to have so much of this material to play and experiment with. Below are photos of my examples.

                                                               Self made container

The tamarillos are also from my garden
and are much loved by my husband, Sam,
who is waiting for this arrangement to die
so he can eat them.

                             A wall arrangement

I leave you with this last arrangement, which I did for my lesson with my teacher, Elizabeth Angell. The theme was Red and Green and I used a Haemanthus lily leaf and cotoneaster berries.

Bye for Now,