June 30, 2022

Ayame (iris) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Ayame (iris) flowers: Kaizo-ji


Noticing the approach of the rainy season, the dainty flowers of iris, which seem to be made of thin pale silks having purple stripes, are beginning to bloom gracefully in the tranquil garden as if to expect the imminent arrival of merciful summer rains.

The lively chirps of lesser-cuckoo, which are the summer migratory birds having just arrived here from India and China, are heard distantly as the gentle declaration of the seasonal change.

The fragile and watery petals of these silky flowers will dry and droop before the evening of this day, without being able to wait for the quiet rainy night patiently.



Ayame (iris) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Ayame (iris) flowers: Kaizo-ji


In Japan, especially during the Edo period (1603-1868), gardening and horticulture greatly flourished and were high in favour with the public.  

Samurais of those days learned horticulture and gardening eagerly as their spiritual self-discipline and artistic accomplishments along with the swordsmanship and the manners of tea ceremony. 

The ordinary people of that time also enjoyed horticulture and gardening in their home gardens and back alleys and enthusiastically went to see various seasonal flowers at the famous spots of flower-viewing.

The various garden species of peonies, irises, chrysanthemums, morning glories and so forth were produced by selective breeding. Although many of these plants were native to China, the iris is an indigenous plant of Japan and its improved varieties have been uniquely developed in Japan. 



Ayame (iris) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Ayame (iris) flowers: Kaizo-ji

 

Ajisai (hydrangea) and Yuri (lily) flowers: Eisho-ji

Ajisai (hydrangea) and Yuri (lily) flowers: Eisho-ji

 

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji

 

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Yuri (lily) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Yuri (lily) flowers: Kita-kamakura

 

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Oranda-kaiu (calla lily) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Oranda-kaiu (calla lily) flowers: Kaizo-ji



 

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Chojyu-ji

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Chojyu-ji

 

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji

 

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Jochi-ji

Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers: Jochi-ji

 

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Engaku-ji

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Engaku-ji

 

Kazaguruma (Clematis patens) flowers: Jochi-ji

Kazaguruma (Clematis patens) flowers: Jochi-ji

 

Bamboo grove: Eisho-ji

Bamboo grove: Eisho-ji

 

June 8, 2022

Suiren (water lily) flower: Kita-kamakura

Suiren (water lily) flower: Kita-kamakura


The long-awaited flower of Suiren has just bloomed in my small water-lily basin after its tiny flower-bud stealthily appeared above the water surface a day or two ago. 

The Japanese name "Suiren" means the lotus flower that falls asleep. This flower opens as if to be awakened by the rise of temperature in the morning sun and closes as if to fall asleep as the temperature drops in the late afternoon, while changing its size and hue slightly each day. After repeating this process of opening and closing for four days, it exhausts its life-span quietly.

Spring is the season of full blossom. One after another, various plants and trees open their colorful flowers for their yearly pollination and reproduction. 

For flowering, they must exert all the vital energy that they have stored during the year. Each flower blooms for just a short while, and, when it has fulfilled its duty, it fades away without any hesitation.