In the garden at the moment a number of Australian native flowering shrubs are covered in blooms. The most conspicuous at this time of year are plants in the Myrtaceae family. In our garden are pink, red, and pale yellow callistemons as well as some melalucas.
Recent research has confirmed that the callistemons belong in the same genus as melaluca. All of the examples in our garden are characterised by flower-heads of cylindrical 'bottle-brush' type.
This pink one is about 9 centimetres long.
Most flowers of this pale yellow one were damaged by rain a couple of weeks ago. It is slightly smaller.
Here is a red one that I photographed to show how the individual flowers open separately.
This red one is slightly different to the previous photograph and has the longest flower-head at about 14 centimetres. It is distinctive for the conspicuous, bright yellow spots of pollen on the stamens.
Here is the very small flower of melaluca decussata.
Its flower-head is only 2 centimetres long.
Strangest of all these is Melaluca pulchella which has masses of oddly-shaped, tiny purple flowers less than one centimetre across.
Here is a close up of the flowers of Melaluca pulchella in our garden.
My ikebana for this week is a wall hanging I made for the annual exhibition of the Victorian Branch of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana. The irregular red lattice is made from painted dried stems of agapanthus. The other materials are two very large (about 60 centimetres long) dried leaves of Tetrapanax and two small bunches of dwarf nandina. Click here to see photos from the exhibition.
Greetings from Christopher
11th November 2017
Lara Telford has new posts on her blog from Tokyo where she is the latest recipient of the Norman and Mary Sparnon Endowment scholarship.