Autumn Colours

Autumn is such wonderful season to celebrate colours, particularly the leaves of deciduous trees. In Sydney leaves don’t get quite as vibrant as in some regions in the Northern Hemisphere but fortunately, there are still places where we can go and catch glimpses of those beautiful reds, golds and oranges before the foliage fall from the trees

Autumn colours
Autumn colours
My ikebana autumn arrangement on display at The Calyx

Sogetsu Ikebana arrangements are on display at The Calyx, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney from 26 April – 5 May 2019, 10am – 4pm. 

To order flowers, please click here.

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Celebrating the Lunar New Year with Flowers

Being in a family with Chinese ancestry meant that there was always lots to do in the days leading up to the Lunar New Year. This included cleaning the house, shopping for new clothes, baking cookies, buying gifts for families and friends, getting red packets ready, and planning for the reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. And then there were the traditions and customs to follow so that we bring good luck and wealth into the new year.

Many Chinese like to decorate their houses with festive decor such as door couplets, Chinese knots and New Year pictures. These decorations are mainly in red and are expressions of good wishes for the future. In addition, flowers play an important part as the Chinese believe that flower blossoms will bring fortune. Some flowers are particularly popular due to their good symbolism. We have:

Peonies for prosperity;

Peach blossoms for luck in romance;

Daffodils for a new beginning;

Chrysanthemums for longevity;

Gladiolus for strength and career advancement;

to name a few.

For my Lunar New Year flower arrangement this year, I’ve chosen to use the auspicious red colour as the key design element. Here’s wishing everyone who celebrate the Lunar New Year a very prosperous and healthy year ahead!

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Can you recognise the flower?

As a trained florist, I like to constantly challenge myself to push creative boundaries when designing arrangements. Sometimes I like the end result, sometimes not so much. But what is important for me is to keep trying out new things and enjoying the creative process. Here, I’ve used the agapanthus in my designs. 

The agapanthus is a favourite choice in many gardens and commonly found where I live. Due to its hardiness and drought resistance, they are emerging as an invasive weed threat in certain places; however, they are also known to be fire-retardant and can help slow a fire’s progress!

In these arrangements, I’m mainly using the heads and stalks after having removed the flowers. To add some colour, I’ve added cut-offs from a page of a magazine I had lying around. 

You can also use the agapanthus heads beyond their flowering season by drying and spray painting the heads, and using them as interesting decoration pieces around your house.  You might just impress guests visiting your home. (Note: please be careful when cutting the plant as the sap can be poisonous to humans and pets if ingested. Please wash your hands after handling)

Hope you enjoy these designs!

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Arranging Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are currently in bloom! 

Here I’ve made different arrangements using tall and short vases. Additional interest can be created when you arrange the flowers asymmetrically (giving it an off-centred look).

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Arranging Tulips in a Vase

Some tips when arranging tulips in a vase at home:

  1. Tulips continue to grow in the vase after they have been cut; so try and choose a vase that covers at least half of the height of the tulip stems.
  2. Wash off any dirt or sand that might be caught in between the leaves and stems of the tulips.
  3. Cut the stems with clean, sharp scissors.
  4. Tulips love water. So fill up your vase with cool, fresh water at least halfway; if possible change the water every other day.
  5. Avoid placing tulips in direct sunlight or near a heat source or else they will wilt faster.
  6. If you find your tulips a little droopy, it could be that they have air bubbles in their stems. Prick a tiny hole just below the flower head with a needle or safety pin so that water can rise up the stem.
  7. Don’t combine tulips with flowers in the Narcissus family such as daffodils and jonquils as they may shorten the lives of the tulips.

Tulips white
Tulips purple-delphinium
Tulips red with anemone
Tulips white-cherry blossoms
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