Early every August a huge magnolia tree blooms in a garden in St Kilda. It belongs to my sister-in-law (for whom the Julie bowl is named after) and is covered with lush branches laden with flowers. Even before they brown off and start to haphazardly fall they act as a messenger for the coming spring. With colours which just beg to be used in my glazes, they illustrate how beautiful dark brown (chocolate) can be as a foil to the green of the leaves, and the graduated pinks of the petals.
My grandparents had an amazing garden in the Blue Mountains which was full of apple trees and hothouses with orchids. The seasonality of the trees had it's own life cycle which was translated into colour with each passing month. I often put big branches of both trees in my stores and home. Apple blossoms last an eternity and when whey fall it's like scented confetti with pale green foliage starting to poke through. Julie never commented but I would loot her tree branches to use for visual merchandising at the Gift Fair. Magnolias let me know that the days are getting longer, that my 300 bulbs will be budding up at home, and remind me that the Christmas rush is getting dangerously close yet again. When you craft so many things individually it's a welcome relief to let nature and her rich colours distract you from your work.