The rose garden I often visit is located inside a much larger theme park. Regardless of the time of year, the park is full of containers of colourful flowers and anytime I have gone I have been impressed. The flowers change with the season, of course, and the last time I visited many of the containers were full of pansies. To be honest, I usually don't get all that excited about pansies but these were such beautiful groupings of colours and shapes...
It's Iris Season
The local park has a large iris garden that is open to the public every year for one month starting May 25th. The first day was yesterday and so we dropped by. As expected, there were only a few that were blooming but no worries! We'll be back.
This was one of two irises blooming in the entire back section of the garden. It Japanese, this type of iris is called "hanashoubu". In English it's "iris ensata", but is more commonly know as "Japanese iris" outside of Japan. It's noted for its large, flat petals.
Ah! It's spring! The weather is glorious and the garden calls but, unfortunately, there is much work to be done. This means that I spend more time than I would like sitting at my computer and wistfully counting the hours until I can get back out there. Thankfully, it's a relatively easy time of year as the garden doesn't really need me and I'm reaping the rewards of months of hard work. Still, I wish I had more time just to sit out there and enjoy it. (Who doesn't! (^.~))
There are lots of flowers blooming out in the garden right now but the current garden thrill has to be my purple iris. I have several varieties of iris but I bought this one last year hoping to add some colour to my small collection. Goodness, did it ever! I knew it was going to be purple, of course, but I had no idea it would be so beautiful. Such a lovely surprise! Thank you, purple iris!
(As for the others, not a single iris bloomed this year which is most curious. I gave them all the same treatment and they all look healthy but there's not a bloom in sight. I'd love to hear from you if you have any suggestions or advice.)
(Click on the thumbnail for the full image.)
The Joys of Winter
Yes, I know it's spring. Actually, it feels more like summer! Today was a beautiful sunny day, +27C, and the humidity was low. A perfect Canadian summer day if there ever was one - expect that I live in Osaka and summer will not arrive for some time yet. Soon it will be stinking hot and humid and I will be wishing for cooler days such as these...
But I digress! Despite the warmth, today I'm thinking about winter. The joys of winter, to be exact. I've been looking at the photos I took In February when I returned to Canada to spend some time with my family. I hadn't spent a winter in Canada in decades and I had forgotten how beautiful winter could be! The blue sky! The snow! The hoar frost! The birds! The deer! It was winter overload and I loved all of it. Even the record-breaking cold couldn't dampen my enthusiasm. My family just shook their heads and rolled their eyes...
Okay, so I went a bit a balmy but I do have evidence - minus the cold, of course!
(Click on the thumbnail to see the full image.)
It's Golden Week in Japan and the whole country is on holiday. Golden Week is a collection of 4 national holidays all within a one-week period and many companies and business close for the duration. This year an additional holiday has been added to celebrate the beginning of Reiwa, a new era for a new emperor. For many, this means a total of 10 days off and the news has been full of stories about cranky people who don't know what to do with all their time off.
Well, it's not a problem in this household! We've been running errands, spring cleaning (hello, clean curtains!), and doing odd jobs around the house. They are mostly things that don't get done during the usual weekly routine so it feels great to check them off the to-do list.
Of course, we've also managed to get out a bit. We usually stick close to home during Golden Week because traffic tends to be horrific but on Sunday we took a chance. We spent most of the day in Kyoto (light traffic both ways) and dropped by Kyoto Botanical Garden in the early afternoon to see what there was to see.
As usual, I made a beeline for the native plants garden but as we wandered through the area we could see very colorful flowers off in the distance. Roses? No! Peonies! That area of the garden included many peony varieties and it was a riotous collection of colours and shapes. Most surprising was the size - some were larger than dinner plates! I had no idea peonies could grow to be so large! Ah, such gorgeous flowers!
I so enjoyed the unexpected treat and returned home determined to grow more peonies. Okay, I'll confess. I only have one peony plant at present, and it has only bloomed for me once. That was last year after 5 years of continued efforts. (The secret was more fertilizer.) Regardless, I am determined! I need more peonies in my life!
Here are some of the beauties I saw at the Kyoto Botanical Garden. Perhaps you need more peonies in your life as well? (^.~)
(Click on the thumbnail to see the full image.)
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.