Sam and I were at the Gold Coast for a short but much needed break recently. As always, when I'm up north I become envious of all the lush, tropical plants and this time was no exception.
Dotted all around the resort we stayed in were large planters each with a single plant of Agave Desmettiana variegata. These stunning plants are softer than the agaves we have down south and I was itching to get my hands on them for use in ikebana.
I have posted many times arrangements using strelitzia nicolai, which I prize very highly and, for which, Sam has to risk life and limb, climbing a ladder to cut them for me. Up north they grow like weeds and, if you look closely at the photograph below, you will see buds and flowers on this plant, growing at ground level or close to it.
Yes, I was envious!
We returned home at about 8.00pm, a lot later than we expected, due to a number of delays, including a dead battery at the long term parking at the airport. We came from a 26 degrees day to dark, wet and freezing and in those conditions I had to go into my garden, using a torch, to cut materials to prepare for classes the next day.
Within 10 minutes, in those hostile conditions, I had cut so much material that I could barely carry it all inside. In the five days of my absence, I was surprised to see a number of plants had flowered. I made six arrangements including one themed 'A variety of Materials'. So, right then and there, my envy of the tropics changed to a deep appreciation and gratitude for my wonderful, productive and forgiving of neglect, southern garden!
|The first of my favourite rose, the 'Altissimo'|
This delghtful phalaenopsis orchid stem was
given to my by my new student Guy.
|I had to include a close up.|
|'Using only one kind of material'|
As I had many aspidistra leaves left over after the Ikebana International exhibition, for class I decided to run a workshop on aspidistras for the senior students.
This material is also called Cast Iron Plant for a very good reason. It is practically indestructible. It grows in shady spots and thrives on neglect. But, for us ikebanists, it has the great advantage and flexibility of surviving without the need for water.
I have already featured my three pieces on a previous post but, just as a reminder, here they are again.
|The aspidistra here is rather insignificant but, I felt, it was|
a neat way to cover an awkward spot
There were a number of absenteeisms recently, for various reasons but the students that attended the class were quite enthusiastic and produced a number of arrangements.