January 31, 2012
In the bitter chill of midwinter, the snow-white flowers of narcissus are nobly blooming in silence and giving off an elegant aroma to console us warmly in this cold gloomy season.
In Japan, this plant is called Sui-sen, which means "a water hermit" because it grows at the edge of water and bears pure white flowers.
Like fairies standing still at the waterside, the flowers of Sui-sen are blooming innocently as if to be free from the any hardship of this nearly colorless season.
Soon the flowers of Mitsumata (Edgeworthia chrysantha) will bloom splendidly as one of the first heralds of spring in Kita-kamakura.
In the intense cold of winter, its downy flower buds, which look like the small paws of silver kittens, are growing steadily for their blossoming.
January 17, 2012
Through the chilly and dry air of January, the sunset casted blazing glow over the sea.
The bright colors of nature have mostly faded away in this gloomy season. Precisely for this reason, we can again wake to the true value and preciousness of the beauty which this world gives us.
Peonies ordinarily flower in April and May. The winter flowering of peonies is artificially activated by using the traditional skill of late raising to present the auspicious and elegant flowers which will bring good fortune in a new year.
In spring and summer, the natural flowering of this plant is inhibited by placing it in a cold environment. In autumn, it is nursed carefully in a temperature-controlled condition to prepare for winter.
After this painstaking process of nursing is continued for two years, the flowers of winter peonies bloom magnificently in harsh and gray winter.
The splendid winter flowers of peonies seem to warm up the spirits of those around them like a cheerful fire in this cold and flowerless season.