Thursday, 9 October 2014

Hello all,
For years I've been wanting to visit Canberra during Floriade and the previous weekend on an impulse, my husband and I flew there. Floriade is promoted as the biggest celebration of spring in Australia but it left us seriously underwhelmed.

They had mass plantings of bulbs and spring flowers and not much else. There was no artistry in the planting and no elevated platforms from which to view the garden beds.

Disappointment with Floriade notwithstanding, we enjoyed the three days in Canberra, going to NGA where we saw the Sydney Nolan and Arthur Boyd exhibitions, visited Parliament House and walked around Lake Burley Griffin. We also dined at some very nice restaurants and enjoyed the unusually balmy weather. Outside the Floriade site was this delightful little copse of cherry trees in full bloom, which was a poignant reminder of Hanami in Tokyo.

Back home and in class on Wednesday, the theme was a freestyle spring arrangement using 5 or more materials. This can be a difficult exercise, often looking very Western and the students struggled a little but produced very nice work in the end.

Below are my examples.

Front view

Side view

This is my newly-acquired antique basket. 

In this arrangement, I tried something a little different by using five glass vases to hold the five materials. Unfortunately, try as I might, I couldn't get a good photograph of it.

I also had some other freestyle arrangements around the house because I can't resist all the wonderful spring material around me. 

Strelitzia with leaf

Viburnum Tomentosum and Rhododendron 

Golden Elm blossoms in wall arrangement
(An example of an arrangement using only one kind of material)

Cymbidium orchid, canna lily and Siberian dogwood

Yesterday I attended class with Elizabeth Angell, who had been away travelling for a month. She had set us a combined theme - a ka-bu-wa-ke arrangement and Colours in Contrast.

I had several ideas but I settled on the two below.

Viburnum opulus and Rhododendron

Stelitzia Reginae leaves, clivias and wisteria

I feel very blessed that all the materials for all the arrangements in this post have been sourced  from my garden. It took many years and a lot of hard work but I am now reaping the rewards.

Bye for now,

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