July 27, 2021

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)



 

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Sacred Lotus flower: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

July 11, 2021

Yamayuri (Lilium auratum) flowers: Chojyu-ji

Yamayuri (Lilium auratum) flowers: Chojyu-ji


Surprised by the pleasant fragrance drifting slowly in the air, I noticed that there were the brilliant flowers of golden‐rayed lily blooming silently in a cluster by the side of the stone steps leading up to the temple gate.

The purple and blue flowers of hydrangeas, which have passed their prime, were staying close beside the fresh white flowers of the lily, as if to tell that their role as the flowers of season will end before long.

As plants already know, soon the gray, thick clouds of the rainy season will disappear completely from the sky and the dazzling sun of summer will begin to rule this world.


Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kaizo-ji


As the end of the rainy season approaches, the hydrangea flowers, which have continued to change their hues and shades under the chemistry of the rain water, have reached the summit of their metamorphosis and are taking on graceful and subtle nuance of blue and red colors.

No matter how excellent an artist painter is, it must be impossible to create these mysterious colors on his palette.

Probably nobody knows why hydrangea flowers continue to vary their colors and figures in the rain. They will soon dry up and lose their splendor without allowing me to know the answer.


 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji


A bamboo grove is one giant living organism in its entirety and its countless green stalks are coming out from a single web of underground stems.

As the sunlight and heat of summer increase gradually towards the end of the rainy season, the bamboo grove continues to grow more and more vigorously and are filling this shady garden with its gentle blaze of life force.

As if to perceive the abundant life force that is pervading this grove, the pale flames of the hydrangea flowers are burning calmly in a corner of this green garden.


Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Eisho-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kaizo-ji

 

Water lily pond: Kaizo-ji

Water lily pond: Kaizo-ji

 

Natsu-tubaki (Stewartia pseudocamellia) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Natsu-tubaki (Stewartia pseudocamellia) flowers: Kaizo-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

 

Yamayuri (Lilium auratum) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Yamayuri (Lilium auratum) flowers: Kita-kamakura

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura



 

June 26, 2021

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura


The gentle magenta tint of the water-lily flower is emphasizing the vividness of the purplish-blue hydrangea flowers and the intense green leaves.

The brief interlude of sunshine during the overcast days, which foretells the brilliant summer sunlight, causes the momentary appearance of the magical combination of colors and figures unique to this rainy season.

As precious gifts from the planet earth, flowers give us the wonderful representation of each season and silently teach us the transitoriness of living things in this world. 

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kaizo-ji


In the soft sunlight striking through the gray clouds peculiar to the rainy season, the Ajisai flowers in full bloom are quietly showing their marvelous shades and tints of blue and purple.

As the summer solstice approaches, the plants and trees in this humble garden continue to absorb the merciful rainwater abundantly and to grow vigorously as if to fill the garden with their shiny green leaves completely.



Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kawakita Kinenkan (Kamakura)

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kawakita Kinenkan (Kamakura)


The vivid colors of Ajisai flowers, which continue to change every time it rains, are flooding this aged, simple garden and are adding modest liveliness to the quiet greenness of it. 

Like an old monk standing still in this gentle garden, the weathered stone lantern seems to be delightedly staring at the silent feast of the bright flowers and be listening to the joyful whispering of the fresh flowers which have just come into full bloom.


Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji


Without regard to our sentiment, flowers bloom only for the pollination and reproduction. Nevertheless, they must give deep delight to us and console our sorrow and distress by their beauty and fineness. 


We always perceive the heartfelt stories of life and seasons and the joy of living from the fleeting, extraordinary appearance of flowers.


In the gardens of Zen temples, a variety of plants and trees are grown, each of which attractively blooms and swiftly fades from season to season. This is served to give worship-visitors a kindly welcome and, probably, to secretly imply the allegory that all is vanity in our world no matter how beautiful it is.



Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Jyochi-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Jyochi-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Engaku-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Engaku-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Chojyu-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Chojyu-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kencho-ji

 

Ajisai ( Hydrangea) flowers: Engaku-ji

Ajisai ( Hydrangea) flowers: Engaku-ji

 

June 13, 2021

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Chojyu-ji

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Chojyu-ji


As if to suggest that the rainy season will arrive here soon, coinciding with the spectacular blooming of the Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers, the star-shaped purple flowers of "Iwatabako" begin to appear stealthily on the shady rock-surfaces of "Kamakura-ishi" (Kamakura rock) like the quiet hermits who wish to hide from the world and the sun.

Kamakura-ishi is the green-coloured tuff typical of the Kamakura region and was commonly used for the landscape-gardening of the old Zen temples in this area.

The perennial plant called "Iwatabako" (which means the tabacco plant growing on rock) grows on wet rock surface in the shade where water always oozes out. 

The short root-stalks usually produces one or two large leaves. These leaves are 10-20 cm long, 5-10 cm wide, and have an elliptic wrinkled shape. 

The flower stalks extend 10 to 20 cm long from the leaf-axils and bear two or three purple flowers about 1.5 cm in diameter.


Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura


Ajisai (hydrangea) knows when the rainy season begins. 

It prepares its fresh green leaves and countless flower buds to bathe the merciful rain that this season brings. 

By absorbing abundant rainwater, Ajisai flowers subtly continue to transform their colors and shapes until they lose all moisture and wither away.

The mysterious chemistry of the rain and soil components causes the colors of Ajisai flowers to keep changing constantly. 

In the pale sunlight from the gray rainy sky, the ornamental petals exhibit the amazing diversity and gradation of tints that any other flower can never present.

 

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Kita-kamakura

 

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

 

Water lily flower: Kita-kamakura

Water lily flower: Kita-kamakura

 

Ayame (Iris sanguinea) flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Ayame (Iris sanguinea) flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

 

Ayame (Iris sanguinea) flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)

Ayame (Iris sanguinea) flowers: Ofuna Botanical Garden (Kamakura)