December 1998 : This month flower - Chrysanthemum

Mieko Nagano: Oita City, Japan

Chrysanthemum is said to be the national flower of Japan. Each kind of the flower, from a big-bloomed one to a small buddy-like one, claims its beauty in early winter sunlight. Simple single stalk in a pot supporting a petal on the top, a cascade pattern, or a chrysanthemum figure may be the unique sense of beauty of Japan. But what fit to my tiny garden are the pretty petals of the flower anyway. They bloom quietly in unexpected corners of the garden in small groups. White, yellow, and pink flowers make me very happy.

All the flowers in my garden were grown from cuttings. Recently, luxurious species are prevailing that may fade away the original neat and clean image of the flower. The flower is usually used in the decoration of a funeral altar. Mourners bring a stalk back home to look back the deceased. I planted a stalk of them on my garden. Some of them put down roots and blooms that make me recall the departed people. Since I am not so good at growing them, the size of the flowers has become smaller, but I think they still match to my tiny garden.

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