A Carpet of Flowers 〜A Gift from Nature〜 Part 1: Spring and Summer

 There are four seasons in Japan, and you can see a variety of flowers every time here and there. Do you think that being around flowers makes people happy?  Speaking of flower viewing, you must imagine cherry blossoms, but I’d like to introduce a carpet of flowers which is considered to be breathtaking both in the wild or grown in a garden. I’ll also tell you a good place to see them. If you would like to see more, please visit the link below.

Spring

Chinese Milk Vetch (れんげ草 Rengesou)

They are pink flowers blooming in spring which are planted in a rice field to prevent weeds from growing. They bloom sweetly and remind people that spring is coming. You don’t see many Chinese milk vetch around these days because of developed chemical fertilizers. I remember in my childhood days that I enjoyed making a flower lei or tasting nectar from this flower.

Chinese milk vetch

Recommendations
https://www.takatsuki-kankou.org/info/1898/
https://www.okayama-japan.jp/en/

〜Canola  (菜の花 Nanohana)

You can find canola fields everywhere in Japan. They grow quite abundantly, and they give off a very attractive yellowish hue. Canola has two different types. Some of which are edible such as a turnip, napa cabbage, bok choy, and the other type is commonly used for its oil. They are a natural scene of spring in Japan, the same as chinese milk vetch. Many people have put them in a song or lyrics since the ancient times.

Canola

Recommendations
https://www.showakinen-koen.jp/
https://www.seibu-la.co.jp/soleil/

〜Moss Phlox  (芝桜 Shibazakura)

They open up an abundance of flowers in spring. I’d say it’s literally a flower carpet. The flower’s colour ranges from pink, white and sometimes light purple. The beauty takes everyone’s breath away immediately. The contrast between the pinkness of flowers and the blue sky is superb, let alone in collaboration with Mt. Fuji. It feels like you’re entering into a dream world. They’re relatively easy to grow. How about planting moss phlox in your garden?

Moss Phlox

Recommendations
https://shibazakura.net
https://navi.city.chichibu.lg.jp/p_flower/1808/
https://www.fujikyu.co.jp/

〜Nemophila  (ネモフィラ)

I’m assuming these flowers are in the top 3 most popular flowers for viewing recently in Japan. They come from the US, Mexico and the western part of Canada .They are commonly purchased for domestic growing especially within the garden. They are often referred to as “baby blue eyes.” The blue hue is said to be good for your soul as it helps us to relax and calm down. So whenever you feel stressed out, I would recommend going and seeing this flower and try it for yourself.

Nemophila

Recommendations
https://english.ibarakiguide.org
https://www.showakinen-koen.jp/
https://www.shinrinkoen.jp/

〜Iris  (あやめ Ayame, 菖蒲 Shobu, 杜若 Kakitsubata)

They are generally purple and grow on the waterside. They have been loved around the world because of their dignity. They bloom in rainy season and tell people that summer is just around the corner. It’s  said that Iris is a lucky item for boys because the leaves look like a sword. The Japanese name for an Iris is “Shobu” which shares the same phonetic sound as “to duel.” Because of this commonality, the Iris is often seen as a symbol to represent the strength of men. Japanese people have a custom of putting Iris leaves into a bathtub on  Boys Day (on May 5).

Iris

Recommendations
https://www.city.katsushika.lg.jp/index.html
https://www.iseshima-kanko.jp/spot/1471/
https://www.city.osaka.lg.jp/asahi/page/0000249149.html

Summer 

〜Sunflowers  (向日葵 Himawari)

No explanation needed. Everyone knows sunflowers, and people are fascinated by their energy. Why do people love sunflowers? They turn their faces toward the sun. This action looks like a human being seeking its blessing. If you’re surrounded by sunflowers, you’ll loose yourself in nature’s power. Personally, I feel sad when  I see sunflowers because  I remember the painful scene of the lovers’ separation in an old movie called ”Sunflower.” That’s what is meant by a heartbreaking blue sky.

Recommendations
https://gate-to-hokkaido.jp/ja/spots/2042/
https://lake-yamanakako.com/spot/10017
https://www.welcome-to-chitose.jp/archives/tourism_cat/scene/page/2

〜Lilies  (百合 Yuri)

The proverb says, “When she walks, she is as lovely as a lily.” Their standing position is noble and graceful. There are many types of color such as white, orange, yellow etc. In modern times, the Japanese word for lily, “Yuri,” has become a popular girl’s name which is the same as the western name Lilian. The lily is also a symbol of purity and virginity.

Lilies

Recommendations
https://www.town.fujimi.lg.jp/page/fujimikogenhananosato130720.html
http://www.city.fukaya.saitama.jp/
https://yuri-park.jp/
https://www.iine-uonuma.jp/photo_spot/natural_landscape/tsukioka_yuri/

〜Aquatic Flowers

I’m going to introduce some water flowers in this section such as water lily (睡蓮 Suiren), lotus flower (蓮 Hasu)  water hyacinth (布袋葵 Hoteiaoi) and so on. These flowers tend to uniquely grow and bloom upon a pond. They open up at dawn and close at dusk. Their beautiful and refreshing appearance looks cool and makes them a perfect summer treat. Those flowers are often seen in Japanese gardens or temples. Practically, lotus flowers are recognized as a sacred flower and a symbol of Buddhism.

Lotus flower

Water  hyacinth

Water  lily

Recommendations
https://www.kensetsu.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/jimusho/toubuk/ueno/index_top.html
https://www.okeihan.net/recommend/flowers/spot-search/21_mimurotoji.php
https://toshodaiji.jp/

Monet’s Pond

https://visitgifu.com/

〜Epilogue〜

Are you feeling like making an expedition to a carpet of flowers?  Flowers always make your life colorful You can enjoy them every time through hard times and good times.

See you in my article part 2. 

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