June 30, 2022

Ayame (iris) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Ayame (iris) flowers: Kaizo-ji

In Japan, especially during the Edo period (1603-1868) which was a very long period  (265 years) of national stability and peace, 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 as depicted in various Ukiyo-e paintings.

The various garden species of peonies, irises, chrysanthemums, morning glories, lilies 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. 

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