Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hydrangea walk in the forest green


About 50,000 hydrangeas of 25 varieties bloom one after another from mid-June through the end of July at Kobe Arboretum (Kobe Shinrin Shokubutsuen).  Though hydrangeas at the arboretum are taken care, hydrangeas grow wild at Mt. Rokko and is the official flower of Kobe City.

My favorites are mountain lace-cap hydrangeas, which have delicate figure with smaller flowers and leaves.

The characteristic of hydrangeas at Mt. Rokko is soft pristine blue color influenced by its acidic soil from granites and its great temperature difference between daytime and night.  The color is called “Rokko Blue”.

 When I looked up, they looked like floating in the sea of juicy green: it was a wondrous sensation.

As a blue-color lover, I tend to take pictures of blue flowers more, but of course hydrangeas of any other color are as attractive as the blue blooms.



Do we look all right?

Some rare hydrangeas can be seen like "Shichidanka", of which rediscovery after 120 years from Edo period (1603-1868) made this flower famous.  Have a look at Full blooming Shichidanka hydrangeas at Mt. Rokko

Kobe Arboretum is Japan's largest botanical garden (142.6 ha).  Kobe City purchased an area of the Rokko Mountains close to the urban  area and planted approximately 1200 varieties of trees from each region of the world including Japan while keeping the natural forests as much as possible. It was opened in 1940.
Natural forest in summer
Autumn (Glorious Mandala of autumn at Mt. Rokko)
This is my all season favorite Hase-ike Pond.

Around the pond, I found a froglet with only a teeny tail stub.
Hello, grasshopper!  What’s your name?
 The white camellia-like flower is Stewartia pseudocamellia, or Japanese Stewartia.  娑羅樹 (shara-no-ki)) in Japanese has just started blooming.

White petals and orange anthers
 Japanese Stewartia blooms high above.
Can you spot two white flowers among the foliage in the photo below?

While walking along the Metasequoia avenue leading to the parking lot,
I felt like that green essence was dripping on me.

See you next year at the Rokko Mountains!



  1. Piękne te dzikie hortensje .
    Moje ogrodowe nie chcą kwitnąć , a ziemię zakwaszam .
    Pozdrawiam :)

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed your narrative along with the pictures, stardust. “Green essence dripping” is not only poetic but describes that last photo perfectly. The lacy hydrangeas are also my favorite and I have taken many pictures of them. But there is something about your perspective that brings out the bloom's magical qualities in a special way.

    I heard about a typhoon in Japan recently and am glad your region seems not to have been involved!

  3. Oh … I forgot to mention that the froglet is one of the most adorable creatures I have seen. How awesome to have spotted the tiny thing sandwiched between two leaves. :)

  4. What amazing flowers in blue. Nice to watch your gorgeous photos of nature !
    Greetings, Ela :)

  5. Really amazing flower and forest shots. I love the deepness of the woods and nature. So relaxing to be there surrounded by so much beauty. Thank you for sharing!

    Mersad Donko Photography

  6. such a lovely lovely strand of images!
    the frog is adorable!

  7. Hello Yoko, I cannot fathom 50,000 Hydrangeas and 25 varieties! What a treat for the senses to see their textures and colors in all that lush greenery. I finally found the two Stewartia blossoms, but it took a long time. I was looking too high in the tree. Whenever I view your photos, I think that I should carry the big DSLR more often. Unfortunately, it feels too heavy as I hike. Also, I think maybe it is your skill and not just the camera that produces such fabulous photos.

  8. What beautiful combination of words and photos. In spring we see that concentration of greenness - by this time of year it has darkened. My favourite hydrangeas are the climbing variety which always remind me of lace.

  9. 私は昨日生駒山のアジサイロードに行ってきました。6月末にも行きましたが、今回の方が小雨もぱらつく中、しっとりと美しかったです。そこにも七段下があります。ハイキングコースの入り口にヤマモモがたわわになっている所があって、道路にもたくさん落ちていました。もったいないなあと。 沙羅双樹の花は矢田寺で見ました。今、咲いているんですね。 写真の中、目を凝らして探しましたが、一輪は右下にある分? もう一輪は・・・わかりません。ヒントは?

    1. 写真の上でクリック拡大してください。左下にも一輪、白と黄色いおしべが微かにみえてますよ。右下のはオレンジの葯もみえてますね。

    2. 私もこれかなあとは思ったんですが、ちょっと花びらが鋭角すぎないかなあと。でもそうだったんですね^ ^

  10. I'm always delighted when I visit your blog !!! Love hydrangeas in all colors and shape, I bought an other one last week....and the pictures of the trees, beautiful....
    Have a great week !

  11. Oh, so lovely! The hydrangeas are beautiful Where I lived as a child in England, there were lots of hydrangea bushes, mostly pink, but I believe if iron filings were buried in the soil, the flowers would be blue! Yesterday I went on a garden tour, so I will be posting some pictures of the lovely flowers that I saw.

  12. A magical walk with fabulous shots.

  13. What a beautiful stroll this was !
    Thank you se much for stopping by the other day Yoko and for you kind words, they are so appreciated.

  14. おはようございます。新緑のなかの紫陽花がとても美しいです。 Rokko Blue 七段花、初めて知りました。今度、装飾花の部分をよく見てみます。

  15. Some pictures look unbelievable! How could you make that one with the froglet?
    Thank you for sharing green essence, Yoko! I need it as I'm still in town. Let the rest of summer fill you with harmony!

  16. piękne fotografie Podoba mi się !
    Miła atmosfera u Ciebie na blogu.
    Pozdrawiam bardzo serdecznie z Dublina.

  17. What beauty! There are some blue hydrangeas in a garden up the street from me. Most of ours are white. I always wonder why people plant so many white flowers after the long white winter here. The green in your photos makes everything feel cool.

  18. the hydrangeas are so big in japan and the colors soo vivid gree..I long to live there if I could only speak japanese

  19. Pięknie tam jest !!! Pozdrawiam Serdecznie ! :)
    Photopassion :)

  20. Dear Yoko,
    sorry for my late reply, my last week was full of business and private appointments, so there was no time to visit the favourite blogs of my friends.
    I can't remember having seen any similar place like Kobe Arboretum where you find thousands of hydrangeas amidst a green forest in Germany. Some of the hydrangeas blossoms and colours I like, some I don't. But like you my favourites are blue-blossomed flowers with smaller flowers. They are much more fragile-looking than the full-bodied species. Most of the hydrangeas here in Germany grow in parks and gardens, I'm not sure if there are any of these beauties growing wild.
    The Hase-ike pond with the water lilies is really a gem, too. The weekend before last I took some purple water lily flowers - maybe I manage to post some of these beauties soon.
    For the upcoming hot summer season I wish you and your family all the best - soon I'll take a break again to enjoy the hot season together with my wife at some cooler spots around the North Sea shore.

  21. Such a lovely post – I mean it. I went to a “hydrangea fair” in LaGrange, Georgia, a while back and thought they had many plants, but you said 50,000! What a feast for the eyes, what an attractive place this Kobe arboretum must be.

  22. 水色系のあじさい、涼やかで又かわいいですね。純白でふっくら丸いあじさいもいいですね。最近あじさいの種類が増えました。来年はどんなあじさいが創られるのか楽しみです。素敵な植物園が、近くにあっていいですね。

  23. Oh gosh, the light blue color of the flowers against the green backdrop is just so pretty! And that is a wonderful shot of the canopy of trees :) I could walk there forever.


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