During my shopping visit at my local supermarket in Ealing, West London, I was uplifted by the display of Chrysanthemums. The sight of these flowers, all bursting with bright yellow colour, took me back to my childhood and autumns in Japan. Chrysanthemums are one of the wonderful autumn flowers. Also, they are Japan’s national flower. Their striking colour when the autumn skies are grey, daylight is shorter and chilly winds are bringing down the muted coloured leaves from trees is unique to the autumn experience.
The sight of these flowers brings special memories of my primary school days to me. One of our teachers at the school was a very keen gardener and he wanted us to connect with and appreciate nature. He showed us how to plant seeds and nurture the plants. In spring time each of us were given a pot and some Chrysanthemum seeds to plant and shown how to look after and water them regularly. Through the Spring and Summer, we took care of our own potted plants and the sheer delight of seeing beautifully blooming flowers in Autumn was indescribable. The teacher arranged to have a memorial photograph taken of us all proudly holding the pot with big yellow flower. Today, I really appreciate the beauty of plants and flowers and am keen to learn more each day.
This week, with the fond memories of my primary school days, I have created my Ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arrangement, compositions. Of course, I could not resist buying the Chrysanthemums at the local Ealing supermarket. In Ikebana compositions, we can express our connection with the spirit of season. To keep the Autumn spirit in the composition, I used the muted colours of fading Crocosmia from my garden.