Weeping Ferns at Murin-an
On the large Itajii Chinkapin tree near the stone monument erected to commemorate the Meiji emperor’s donation of two pine saplings to Murin-an, there are many weeping ferns growing.
Weeping ferns are aerial plants, which means that they choose to live on trees rather than the ground. Yet on the reverse side of this large tree, they hardly grow at all. Because they prefer areas with lots of sunlight, there is a conspicuous difference between how they grow on the front and back of the tree trunk. They also grow in many other areas of Murin-an, so be sure to look for them around the garden’s different tree trunks and stone lanterns.
During this time of year, there are also many round sporangium growing in rows on the bottom of the weeping fern’s leaves.
The Blooming of the Eurya Japonicas
Here and there in the garden, there are many downward facing Japanese Euryas whose flowers, accompanied by their unique fragrance, are now starting to bloom. This species has both male and female plants and during this season, when their flowers bloom, you can tell them apart by looking at whether or not they have stamens.
Murin-an Tea School vol.10 (Final)
March 17 (Sun.) was our final Japanese tea lecture. The topic this time was “night tea.” What sort of tea do you drink at night? What do people usually conceive of as being the charms of coarse green tea (bancha)? Our participants learned how to enjoy Japanese black tea. As Tyas Sosen handed out course completion certificates to those who participated consecutively, this tea school series drew to a close.
The Blooming of the Japanese Star Anises
As one walks along the path toward the three-tiered waterfall, a sekimori (or “barrier-keeper”) stone comes into view. Then, as you raise your eyes, you see all the cream-colored flowers. There are many Japanese star anises blooming here. In Japanese, they are known as “Shikimi.” It is said that one of the meanings behind their Japanese name is “beauty (mi) of the four seasons (shiki),” a reference to how they stay beautiful all year round.
Weekend Garden Tour: A Garden Tour by a Garden Concierge
On March 16 (Sat.), we toured through Murin-an’s garden with our participants, pointing out to them the highlights of each of its areas. They also expressed an interest in Murin-an’s garden stones, so we explained them too. They were very pleased by how the garden landscape reflects the tastes of its original owner, Yamagata Aritomo. To finish, they took their time gazing at the garden from inside the main building.
Murin-an Tea School
On March 16 (Sat.), we held a trial tea lesson for two friends amid the pouring rain. This was an enjoyable lesson where many things were learned for the first time. Our students were very interested to learn that the proper way to place one’s hands when bowing differs according to the tea ceremony school. Midway through the lesson, the rain lifted and everyone was impressed with the garden as it was illuminated by the sunlight pouring in.
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