Gateway To Chrysanthemum Bliss?


“I just couldn’t put it down…a ‘must read’.”

Okay, what do you think THIS floral designer got in trouble for drawing in the margins of his schoolbooks…?

If I’d come in through this portal, I might never have made it to the annual Shinjuku National Garden chrysanthemum displays, because I’d have died laughing, so it’s a good thing I entered from the other direction, where the first one I came to was THIS:

I should have taken a snap with a random tourist in it, so you could see how huge these are – they are NO LIE over six feet tall

But the most amazing thing about these bonsai chrysanthemums isn’t that they’re so enormous, it’s that each of them is just one plant. Yes, ONE PLANT.

And here’s the proof. See that one little branching stem? That’s IT for the whole megillah. (Those other things that look like they might be stems are just the supports for the scaffolding)

I’ve written about insane flower extravaganzas that are just one plant before, but these chrysanthemum bonsais take boggling to a whole new level. Think about it: How do they get it to branch into the perfect number of flowers? How do they get every single flower stem to grow to exactly the right length? How do they get them to bloom all at once? Honestly, if the balance of power was based on plant domination, Japan would be our unassailable overlords.

By the way, if you happen to be in Tokyo anytime in November, go see the chrysanthemum displays! They are truly amazing, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Here are my favorite places to see them, with maps.

When not obsessing about the shape of Japanese plants, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

For nine years, Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura thought his mother’s death was an accident. Then he gets a call, and his life begins to unravel. Because if it wasn’t an accident…what was it? Read more