Chrysanthemums have never been my favorite flower. When I was a starry-eyed teenager, getting a chrysanthemum corsage from an admirer was distinctly less impressive than an orchid corsage. Not that I had many opportunities to receive such favors, thanks to the strict No Dancing Rule in my family. Still, I got the occasional corsage for banquets, and orchids were the best!
Orchids are still magical–witness the orchid photo below, taken in Longwood’s ever-blooming orchid house.
Yet my appreciation for chrysanthemums is growing.
Longwood’s annual Chrysanthemum Festival is about more than flowers. It pays homage to Japanese Americans, their homeland, and the way they’ve enrich our lives daily with beauty and grace. The numbers of ‘pilgrims’ to this Festival is substantial, including homegrown and overseas families. I find this humbling, given our history with Japanese Americans during World War II, including the bombing of their country.
Here’s a quick tour, including a very short video about growing and shaping those huge Longwood Chrysanthemum ‘mushrooms.’ Did you know each of them is only one chrysanthemum plant, patiently trained, shaped and transported into the Conservatory?
First, some favorite photos from the main Conservatory. The huge Japanese lanterns rolling on the grass have tiny lights inside, not visible during the daytime–I’m sad to say!
As promised above, here’s what it takes to create just one of those stunning Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum plants. Longwood Gardens made the video in 2009. It’s only 3 and a half minutes long.
Finally, here are a few more Japanese lantern photos. First, from the silver, gray and blue cactus garden. These lanterns also have tiny lights inside. You might be able to spot a few if you look carefully at shaded lanterns in the second photo.
And finally, a few spectacular shots of the passageway that runs beside this garden.
Thanks so much for taking time to stop by today!
©Elouise Renich Fraser, 8 November 2017
Photos taken by DAFraser, 28 October 2017, Longwood Gardens Chrysanthemum Festival
Daily Prompt: Dancing