Sunday, May 23, 2010

Iris Viewing

When my Japanese iris begins to open, I remember a college friend of mine telling me how, when she was visiting her family one summer (her father was an admiral, stationed in Japan,) she was taken to view the iris. It has always sounded like a wonderful way to spend a day.



I went exploring via Google to see if this custom endures and found the following: 
Within the heavily wooded grounds of the Meiji Jingu Shrine, you can indulge in the ancient pastime of iris viewing amid beautiful birdsong. Here, in the shrine's serene Inner Garden, meandering ponds have been planted with different varieties of irises, which burst into glorious displays of white, yellow and purple blossoms in the month of June. Irises were a favorite of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. The practice of viewing the flowers was probably imported in ancient times from the Imperial Court of China. The blossoms are especially beautiful in early morning and late afternoon.
I love to imagine elegant kimono clad ladies  -- a rainbow of silks floating above the siken iris petals. Was there  samisen music? Were tea and sweet, soft daifuku served? Did the iris viewers compete to see who could compose the loveliest haiku? 

Ribbons of iris
Beneath the grey rain -- till the sun
Lifts them to the sky.




Here's an iris viewing experience from the Kamo Iris Nurseries in Japan -- just right for a virtual Sunday stroll . . .


GARDENS IN JAPAN: Kamo Iris Nurseries (Featured on October 31st,2005) 
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19 comments:

Victoria said...

Beautiful photos and a beautiful Haiku! I bet the ladies in their kimonos rivaled the beauty of the iris blooms.

Martin H. said...

Beautiful photographs and a reminder for us all, to slow down and examine the wonders around us. So much gets missed as we rush through our busy lives.

Mr. Stupid said...

Wow. These are very beautiful. Lovely pictures and a great post. Smiles:)

Pat in east TN said...

Your pictures are lovely Vicki, but the 'stroll' was breath-taking!

Vicki Lane said...

That 'stroll' has inflamed me with lust for more Japanese irises. I have one deep purple one a friend gave me about ten years ago and just last year I bought the pale one in my picture. More! I must have more!

gayle said...

That was a fun way to start my morning! Love the pretty iris flowers and all their beauty!

Brian Miller said...

that was beautiful. i could just picture them there watching, capturing it in those sparse line. joy and peace.

thanks for starting my day off right...

Jean Baardsen said...

The iris is my favorite flower. I felt such lovely peace watching the iris walk. Thanks, Vicki

Cher'ley said...

My Mom loved the Iris. I guess our Botanical Gardens are similar, just not all one kind of flower. Your blog made me want to go visit a flower garden. I'm watching my flowers daily for new blooms. I love flowers and birds and nature.

Merisi said...

Such pretty Iris images!
They are in full bloom around here too.

Paul C said...

Wow, the Japanese gardens are so extensive. The iris is one of the most exotic flowers in my mind, it and the peony. Great shots.

jennyfreckles said...

They are such wonderfully exotic flowers. It pays to study them close-up in detail instead of rushing past. The Japanese seem to know a thing or two about taking time to meditate.

jennyfreckles said...

PS; Take a look at Larry's blog for some wonderful iris pics: http://larry-burgus.blogspot.com/2010/05/superstition.html

Miss_Yves said...

No travel to Paris to see the champs Elysées!
I think that Cergie'blog will present some pictures .

All day long, I tried to give a translation of your Haïku ,which is very difficult - not because of the meaning but because the french words are longer than yours _ so I propose:

-Des rubans d'Iris (5)
Sous la pluie grise jusqu'à (7)
leur envol solaire (5)

Friko said...

Lovely iris and beautiful photography. Wish I could do that.

Star said...

Beautiful iris and no doubt inspirational when it comes to designing kimonos. Thank you for the tour.
Blessings, Star

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

A beautiful Japanese custom. Very peaceful feeling. -- barbara

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks, folks! I love looking at gardens -- even when it makes me envious.

And thank you, Miss Yves! Such a fun game, this translating each other's haiku!

Re photography, Friko -- it's not so much me as the camera!

Tipper said...

Iris viewing-sounds like a wonderful tradition.