I have recently started reflecting on where plants in our garden are originally from, because people often ask me the same question about myself. Most of our flowers, fruits, veggies and herbs in the garden are from other countries. I have started writing a series of blog posts to explore some of our favourite flowers and edibles we have grown over the years which are from overseas. In this post, I would like to cover some flowers we have grown in our garden that are thought to originate from Japan.
As a gardener, when I think of Japan, the cherry blossom comes to mind first. After that, there are a lot of great things that I associate with Japan which I noticed when I visited Tokyo many years ago, including the strong yen, the amazing rail network linking the country, the Olympics, Toyota, Mt Fuji, cameras, sushi, sake, Japanese tea, kimono, martial arts, origami, beautiful paper products, Asics running shoes and Takashimaya (before I discovered gardening, I used to love shopping!).
While researching the origins of different plants, I discovered that there are three plants in our garden that are native to Japan. The photos I have included in this post are of plants in our garden.
Hydrangeas are very easy to grow and make a great cut flower. The foliage (leaves) is very attractive and often prized in its own right in arrangements. They come in a range of colours, including blue, purple, pink and white. Hydrangeas can be grown in pots and some varieties are bred for this purpose.
There were two established camelia trees on our property before we moved here when I was in sixth form. As we didn’t plant them, I’m not sure what these varieties are but here are photos of the flowers on our trees.
I love growing lilies. They make a great cut flower and last well in a vase. I discovered a species called the tiger lily. It is very unusual looking, partly because the flowers face downwards. The bulbs are hardy and multiply prolifically. We have a few orange bulbs in our garden but tiger lilies come in other colours too, including yellow and white.