© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway
The final flower mountain represents the Cosmos and does not contain flowers but a design called Kikko. Kikko is a stylised representation of the tortoise. The tortoise is associated with longevity because it lives for so long. The tortoise can be embroidered in a realistic way, sometimes with streaming moss growing from its shell to depict its great age but it is also represented as individual or grouped hexagons or, as here, by an overall pattern.
For me, this was the most challenging design to stitch. I found it difficult to keep the short stitches parallel and to keep a crisp straight outline. It is all stitched in twisted silk. I very much like the design and will probably try it again, when my stitching has improved.
Each mountain is outlined with a pair of gold threads couched with red couching thread.