Thursday, 11 September 2014

Hello everyone. Well we've returned from Bali having spent all our time at the resort doing absolutely nothing but relaxing by the pool. Now we're back to our busy lives, the trip is a distant memory.

In my previous post I featured a photograph of an arrangement I did at the resort using tropical materials from the gardens. As the time passed and the leaves I used aged and changed colour I rearranged them and below is the result.

Then, on the day we were to leave, I played with the crabclaw heliconia before throwing it away. It was still very fresh and provided a rare opportunity to 'disassemble and rearrange' it. The photographs below are just some of the arrangements I made using the one heliconia and what few resources were available in our suite. I think you can guess I had a lot of fun.

So, back in Melbourne, spring is in the air, albeit a little late but it is a welcome sight anyway.

In one of my recent posts I featured arrangements I made using prunings from my garden. Three weeks ago my neighbour, Robert took out his chainsaw and put it to very good use in his overgrown garden collecting all the cuttings into a huge pile.

This was an opportunity not to be missed, so, with his permission, I climbed over the fence and started rummaging through the 'pile'. I found some treasures buried deep and struggled to pull them out but I was determined to have them. My biggest problem, however, was fighting off his dog that was convinced I was there solely for her benefit and jumped all over me the whole time, bruising me with her claws and pulling threads on my top.

With an abundance of pussy willow in a bucket, I set the class theme for my senior students- 'workshop with pussy willow'.

Below are a couple arrangements I did before class.

Amongst Robert's prunings pile I found a beautiful branch of this conifer with fronds that lay flat against each other. Together with the Strelitzia from my garden I made the arrangement below. It's been sitting on my island bench for three weeks now and still looks as fresh as when I first placed it there. Very versatile material for exhibitions.

We've had some very severe weather the last couple of days that did quite a lot of damage in the garden, the worst of which was the scattering of the petals of my magnolia soulangeana tree. It was looking magnificent but now most of the petals are strewn all over my lawn. I did, however, manage to cut some branches and arrange them before the storms hit.

At our recent Ikebana International meeting one of our members provided a bucketful of daffodils from her garden to sell at the stall and I bought three bunches. Their delicate beauty epitomizes spring but they are not easy to arrange. So I placed them very naturalistically in this trough, which I set on my windowsill where I can enjoy them each time I walk past.

I leave you with this last spring arrangement for which I used my Stachyurus praecox and the first flower and a bud from my Magnolia liliiflora 'Nigra'. The container is one I made many years ago and was inspired by the pipes in the ceiling of the domestic terminal of the Sydney airport. I'm including a side view to show the beautiful curves of the stachyurus.

I bid you all a good night as I'm off to bed. The next two days I'll be very busy preparing for the Box Hill Floral Art exhibition, which will be held at the Box Hill Town Hall on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. Some of my students and I will be exhibiting in the foyer and my two sisters-in-law and I will be exhibiting on the stage together with some Floral Art members. We will each have a painting, which we will reference with a floral arrangement. I hope o see some of you there.


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