Thursday, 16 February 2017

Good morning everyone,
I say "good morning" because I'm writing this at some ungodly hour, unable to sleep due to a pesky mosquito in my bedroom! So, if you find mistakes, please forgive me, It's due to sleep deprivation.

Those of you who follow Christopher James' blog would have seen recently a tree that he featured from the Botanical gardens called Castanospermum australe ,also known as Moreton Bay chestnut, Australian chestnut, Black bean or Lucky bean. At about the same time my cousin Nick dropped in carrying a potted plant of the same tree saying he thought it was unusual and that I would like it, so he bought it for me.

The fully grown tree from Christopher's blog. It
produces bicoloured red and yellow flowers. The fruit
is a cylindrical pod with chestnut-like seeds.

My potted plant. Notice the chestnut-like seeds
from which it was grown

Now, back to ikebana. My student, Aurelia is a scientist working in a research lab where they use a casing made of grey sponge to secure various vials. At her suggestion, we decided to use these casings in ikebana following the theme 'Fresh and Unconventional materials'. The photos below show what they look like in the lab.

And here's what we did with them.

The two photographs, below, are of Vicky's arrangements where she used only some of the removable parts of the casing. She used with them Bougainvillea and umbrella grass stems.

In the next two arrangements Lucy Papas used both the large pieces of spongy casings as well as some removable pieces.

Umbrella grass stems and roses

Umbrella grass stems

The arrangement below was made by Aurelia Dong and I debated whether to include it here because the photograph doesn't do it justice. Because the aspedistra leaf extends forward, it tends to look bigger that it is and obscures the container. But, I can assure you, it is a good arrangement.

The next two are mine. We really enjoyed this exercise with the only problem being where to stop. We had so many ideas but not enough time.

New Zealand flax and bull

I used bull rushes on a glass base that has two holes, through which I
put the stems. Under the glass base is a container with water.

My arrangement of 'Disassembling and Rearranging the Materials'.

Aurelia's arrangement of 'With Branches Only'. She used
smoke bush and walnut branches

My freestyle arrangement using bull rushes, dietes and crucifix
orchid. I was given plants of the orchid by Helen Novic and
also by Shaneen Garbutt
Bye for now,

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