Many floral arrangements this time of year include showy chrysanthemums. This one was part of a New Year's floral arrangement in the lobby of a building I visited last week. (Which is why they choose chrysanthemums. Even after two weeks, it looked no worse for wear.) The colour contrast took me by surprise! It's certainly one of the more flamboyant ones I've seen.
More chrysanthemums from the exhibition in Hirakata. This particular variety is called a "spider mum" or "spider bloom chrysanthemum". Click here to see more images of spider mums. Such an amazing range of colours and shapes!
Well, so much for any changes! Ah, well. Life has seasons and my season for the past year or so has me pulled in many different directions, leaving me with little time to focus on photography or this website. Hopefully that will change come early spring. We shall see.
In the meantime, I intend to start post photos here more regularly and less on Facebook. Today's photo is from the annual chrysanthemum exhibition in Hirakata, a small city not far from here. I had no interest in chrysanthemums at all until my first visit to this exhibition. I had no idea there were so many different kinds! Now I'm hooked! (^.~)
For more about chrysanthemums in Japanese culture, click here.
For more about the chrysanthemum exhibition in Hirakata in 2020, click here.
I wanted to post this just to show you a different kind of chrysanthemum. I'm not really sure what the variety is called, to be honest, but it always brings to mind those noise makers - the kind that makes a noise when you blow into it and a paper tube uncoils and then coils back in. So, how about "noise maker" chrysanthemum? Okay, so that name's not going win any prizes but it is quite descriptive, don't you think? (^.~)
Within this variety there are additional variations of colour and petal width, length and number. As can be imagined, the blooms needs extra support and you can see the wire frame below the flower head. I expect these are quite challenging to grow. I have no interest in even trying...
Several years ago, if you had asked me if I liked chrysanthemums, I would have said no. It wasn't until I visited a chrysanthemum exhibition, held at a small city nearby, that I had any idea how beautiful chrysanthemums could be! Wow! I now make a point of going to the exhibition every year and am especially taken with single-bloom chrysanthemums. I continually marvel at the skill required to grow them into such tall, blemish-free flowers. I only have small multiple-bloom chrysanthemums in my garden and have yet to win the fight with the bugs. They love them so...
A little research shows that chrysanthemums have been cultivated in Japan since the Nara Period (8th century) and were especially popular in the Edo Period (early 17th to late 19th century). In fact, the Imperial Seal of Japan is a chrysanthemum and is used by the Emperor and the members of the Imperial Family.
The exhibition nearby has its roots in the Edo Period and apparently made the city quite famous. The exhibitions used to include shaped shrubbery as well as famous scenes, historical figures, and dolls all decked out in chrysanthemum finery. Sadly, those days are mostly gone since few people have the time and skill to produce these labour intensive pieces. However, much smaller versions are exhibited every year to give a taste of once was, and every year I look forward to seeing what will be on display.
The chrysanthemum exhibition just ended last weekend but here are links to 2 blog posts that include pictures of exhibitions in the past:
Below is one of the prize-winning single-bloom chrysanthemums from this year's exhibition. The flower head would have been about the size of a slightly flattened, medium-sized cabbage.
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.