The Garden Seen as a Whole! Learning How a Garden that is a Nationally Registered Place of Scenic Beauty is Managed and Nurtured
On the afternoon of July 15 (Mon.), we learned about Yamagata Aritomo’s garden vision and the background behind Murin-an’s construction by using documentary materials in the second floor of Murin-an’s main building. In the latter half of the event, we had all our participants experience a little bit of the work that our gardener does at Murin-an.
On the afternoon of July 17 (Wed.), we gave a mini-lecture on the Little Grebe in the 8-tatami mat space of the main building. We explained how this bird looks for food using webbed feet that differ from that of other waterfowl and about its relationship to Lake Biwa. We also had a fun time incorporating a quiz into our lecture.
On the afternoon of July 14 (Sun.), we gave a tour of the garden amid light drizzling rain. As our participants walked around, our participants got to see a scene of gleaming green moss rather different than the garden’s usual scenery.
We held tea ceremony classes at Murin-an on July 12 and 13 (Fri. & Sat.). We not only had a tea ceremony lesson but also learned about how to remove and roll up the decorative scroll on the tea ceremony shelf. The instructor’s demonstration made it look easy, but it turned out to be a little tricky when we tried doing it ourselves.
(Staff Eyes) Caring for the Lawn
Many wildflowers have grown up on Murin-an’s lawn. When we asked our gardeners about them during their work, they offered replies such as “the purple buds on the Viola inconspicuas are really swelling large,” and “although their still too small to see easily, there are many different species like violets and Chinese spiranthes growing.” So we took a nice, slow look for ourselves.
As we trained our eyes on the lawn, a little world unfolded before our eyes. Looking at Murin-an through the eyes of Yamagata Aritomo, its wildflower-loving original owner, can lead to all sorts of new discoveries.
(Staff Eyes) New Buds on the Ring-Cupped Oaks
There are many varieties of acorn-bearing trees planted in Murin-an’s garden. During winter, the bud scales on these trees slowly grew into young leaves. The scaly patterns are still left on their roots. The reddish leaves finally turn a yellow-green before changing into robust deep green leaves. Having finished their role as a winter coat, the bud scales fall down to the ground.
The Japanese Sweet Flag Blooms
There are plants with long and thin leaves on the edge of the water crossing stones.
Take a close look and you can see something on them just like long, thin baby corn…
Those yellow-green things growing toward the sky are actually flowers.
Several flowers grow together to form a single clump.
Removing the Maple Buds
There were many maple buds sprouting from the gaps in the haircap moss so we picked them one by one with our fingers.
We make sure to pick them early because picking them after they lay down roots leads to the moss being torn out with them.
Murin-an Tea School
We held our last tea ceremony class in the tearoom for March.
The weather was constantly changing from patches of blue sky to rain, giving the lesson many sounds to enjoy, from the rain falling on the roof to the boiling kettle water inside the quiet tea room after the rain lifted.
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Strolling in the Garden in Kimonos
On March 30 (Sat.), we held a kimono rental event on the second floor of the main building.
Ms. Ogihara of the kimono fabric shop Ogihara Gofuku helped participants put on kimonos in colors of their choosing before a tea ceremony lesson was given.
There is such a wide variety of combinations for kimonos and obi sashes, each of one of which changes greatly according to the person wearing them. There are styles for both men and women. We’ll be announcing our next garden kimono event on our webpage!