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Nature’s Beauty

For this particular Class and competition we were required to use only Australian native flora. There is a great variety of flower/foliage types and sizes so that stipulation is not really restrictive, although it does trip up a few competitors (and suppliers) who don’t check carefully enough that their material is an Australian native – many South African native flowers look similar to Australian ones.

Beauty is a subjective thing so I had some difficulty deciding on a final design for this Class. We grow Australian native flowers at our farm so this competition day is my busiest with 17 entries to prepare and display before judging starts. I left this particular arrangement to last so I could be led by what flowers and foliage remained, although I had already decided to use the timber fence post as a feature of the design. Here is the finished item:

Nature's Beauty

Using the fence post as the stand I have made a wire basket and used native grasses woven through this randomly. Foliage is a long branch of weeping grevillea which winds itself naturally down the post and through the holes along with a piece of gum tree bark. Inside the basket is a small arrangement of grevilleas, banksia, casuarina, tea tree and billy buttons. I was quite tired by the time I finished this display and left it as it was – I wasn’t entirely happy with it but couldn’t think of what else to do in the time left before judging.

As with all my entries, I took a photo before leaving the competition room. Over breakfast (we have from 10.30pm to 8am to put our entries on display) I was reviewing the photos and realised that this display actually resembled a bird’s nest with tiny eggs (the billy buttons) on top of the fence post – something you might well see on a farm. When speaking with the judges afterwards, that is exactly what they thought it represented! Lesson: always take photos and if there is time, look at them before you leave the competition area. A photo may show you something you have become blind to whilst putting your arrangement together.

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