I love higanbana (spider lilies) but not everyone does. (If you want to know more about how they are viewed in Japan, visit here: https://grapee.jp/en/155319 ) Regardless, every year I rejoice when they show up in my garden. Although they are basically wild flowers, I have managed to grow a few red ones in pots and this year I found some cream-colored ones at a farmers market in Nara. A rare find, indeed! So pleased!
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity! It has been a season of short trips, routine health checks, serious gardening, and, of course, the usual house chores and work preparations. It's all good though so I have no complaints!
As we returned home from one of our trips, we dropped by Tonbo Garden in southern Osaka Prefecture to visit the hydrangea garden. Unfortunately, many of the plants were suffering from the heat (it hit 35°C that day) and lack of water (the rainy season was short this year) and we wished we had visited sooner. Regardless, we were impressed with the park and the hydrangea garden, and have made plans to visit next year. There is a large rose garden as well but it was too rippin' hot to walk over to check it out! Maybe next time.
This week we were able to visit the Hanashobu (Japanese Iris) Garden at Yamada Ike Park a second time. (The first visit is here.) Many varieties were now in full bloom and we enjoyed the garden at our leisure. (To my surprise, there was hardly a soul around!)
Not too far away is a research garden run by a prefectural university. In front of the office (just a hut, actually), they often have seedlings for sale. This usually consists of one or two small trays of seedlings from the same type of plant. I always buy a few even if I don't know what they are and add them to my garden. Today, this paid off and you can see the results of my efforts below! Ta-da! To be honest, I have no idea what this plant is called. I made a point of noting the name when I bought it, but today my filing system is failing me. Regardless I am so pleased that it is blooming! (If you know what it is, please let me know. Thanks!)
Update: A friend just let me know that this is a passion fruit plant (also called passionflower)! This variety is blue passionflower (passiflora caerulea). It does produce fruit but apparently, it's quite bland.
For the first time in three years, Yamada Ike Park fully opened its Hanashobu (Japanese iris) garden to the public from May 25 to June 25. You still can't walk around willy-nilly as before but at least you can now walk along all the boardwalks. (Two years ago the garden was closed and last year only about half of the boardwalks could be used.) We went in early June so some of the irises had yet to bloom. Still, it made for a lovely morning out.
The little wooden signs indicate the variety of Japanese iris (small writing) and the name of the iris (larger writing). Some day I will be able to identify Japanese irises by name, but today is not that day...
For more information about the iris garden: yamadaike.osaka-park.or.jp/flower
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.