The Garden Guide

Book: Landscape Gardening in Japan, 1912
Chapter: Chapter 11. Garden Vegetation

Flowering plants in landscape scenery

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Flowering plants are not much employed in the body of the landscape, exceptions being:�the Flag or Iris, planted on the edge of a stream, or in marshy beds; the Lotus, grown in some garden lakes; and certain choice flowering plants and grasses belonging to the late autumn. Even the use of the "Seven Autumn Plants" (Nana-kusa) is restricted to particular parts of an artificial landscape, or to special types of smaller gardens. Chrysanthemums and Peonies�the two most beautiful floral productions of the country, and those on which considerable horticultural skill is lavished�find no place in a landscape garden proper; their display is restricted to flower-beds arranged in level areas, which are generally placed near the ladies' apartments. In the grounds of the palaces the open space facing the ladies' chambers, (notably those called Komachi-no-ma, and Tsubone-beya), are adorned in this fashion. Such arrangements partake rather of the character of flower shows, specimens of the same plant being grouped together, with rarely any attempt to produce colour patterns, as in the Western parterre.