|Chrysanthemum bridges - I guess two plants in each - one from each end|
|Along the exhibition|
|Central feature with a 'Thousand Bloom' plant|
Here are hundreds of meticulously trained chrysanthemum plants, some with beautiful individual blooms, one to a plant, others with many blooms up the the staggering Ozokuri - Thousand Bloom specimens. There were pyramids, long tumbling waterfalls of bloom (kengai), some trained as bridges over the pools and others grown as walls. A three tier 'poodle' specimens had flowers in three different colours, created by grafting the different cultivars on at stages in the development. Displaying the plants in diagonal rows of pink white and yellow is said to signify the colours in the woven braid used for the bridle of an imperial horse.
|Beautiful specimen plant or plants|
|Ozokuri - Thousand Blooms|
|Back of the specimen showing it is just one plant - apparently retrained and tied to the framework half way through its growth program which started a year ago - October 2012|
|Pyramids - beautifully even|
|Waterfalls or cascades as we used to call them|
|Described as walls|
|Grafted specimen - just one stem/plant is attached to the soil|
|Traditional diagonal display style|
My own favourite was a giant bonsai style specimen with groups of flowers appearing to emerge from a gnarled, twisted tree trunk. Being curious, I peered behind the exhibit, expecting to see plants in pots hidden in the trunk but found just the stems of one individual plant trained up into all the intricate shapes.
|Bonsai - style created by botanic garden but highly appropriate to Japanese horticulture|
|It all grows from these slender stems!|
As well as the different shapes of plant, there were some unusual flower forms such as the exquisite spider blooms and curious big single flowers. The botanic garden has its own breeding program and several cultivars are of their own raising. Some flowers were supported by a circular wire ring, the purpose of which eludes me. It could be ornamental, be practical in supporting the long petals or be part of the traditional Japanese culture of these blooms. Someone enlighten me!
|Big blocky singles - unusual - not sure if they are attractive|
|Wonderful spiders or spoon-petalled blooms|
|Not sure how these would be classified but they are curious|
|Note the little supporting rings|
Although I have seen and grown charm and cascade chrysanthemums in the past, (Wisley used to have a good display,) I have never seen anything as spectacular as this. To read more about this wonderful event and the fascinating ways these plants are grown, check out the gardens website on the Kiku exhibit.