Monday, May 25, 2015

May going fast in the garden

The Fifth Month
surugaji ya hanatachibana mo cha no nioi

Suruga road—
even the wild orange blossoms
smell of green tea

From: Twelve haiku translations from Bonsai, PIE Books, Tokyo, 2011, 
translated by Emiko Miyashita and Michael Dylan Welch

SJG • 5/24/15 - a duck by the lantern on suhana  (pebble beach on the rocky peninsula)

by aleks
Usually April and May are the months when rhododendrons and azaleas overtake the Garden, making it extravagantly showy with colors, almost gaudy. And although most westerners like it that way, and actually many come for the show (jugging from comments I overhear: 'let's go on the Azalea Way, there is even more there', 'now it's the best time for color'), it s during those months that I find myself taking the time on my tours to explain that this was NOT the original intent of our Garden and his architects, nor the aim of any Japanese style Garden.

SJG • 5/24/15 - wisteria blooms almost over, the trellis returns to its natural
green statement role, with Japanese irises beneath. 

My explanations are often met with quizzical looks on the faces of visitors (reading like  'who would want to give THAT up?!'),  leading to more explanations that the aim of the Garden is to create a feeling of calm, permanence and continuity, which is why evergreen trees (especially pines) and shrubs,  predominate in the Japanese garden and brightly colored flowering plants are generally not planted.

SJG • 5/24/15 - after taking this pic I went to see what's the attraction. Crayfish  perhaps?
They like to congregate there...  No, it's was a turtle that seemed to want to come out
(lay its eggs maybe up the path?), but  all that attention!

I visited our Garden yesterday and noticed that it is returning faster than usual to its typical shades-of-green palette: after unusually warm winter some blooms appeared as much as four weeks early, and  speeded away just as fast.

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REMINDER: 子供の日 • (kodomo no hi) Children’s Day THIS Sunday, May 31, 11am - 3 pm

SJG • 5/24/15 - Japanese irises up-close