Monday, May 16, 2016

Where have gone the nostalgic flower carpets?

Chinese milk vetche (Astragalus sinicus) is naturalized in Japan.
The flowers used to be seen in mass around paddies, fields, meadows, 
and along brooks in spring in my childhood.

"Spring has come and the small stream flows babbling between its banks
The small stream goes whispering between the violets and milk vetches
Wishing the grace, color and beauty, all blossoming on the stream banks"

Excerpts from the popular children’s song “The Small Stream in the Spring”
(Lyrics translated by YAMAGISHI, Katusei)

At the Manyo Botanical Garden of the Kasuga Grand Shrine

Until chemical fertilizer came to be used,
Chinese milk vetches were used as green-fertilizer.
The seeds of them were sowed in the paddies drained of water right after harvesting rice
 so that milk vetches bloom in the next spring.
The paddies were plowed with the plants as fertilizer before planting rice seedlings.

Near the Amakashi Hill at the Asuka Village

The flowers used to make a beautiful sight spread out before your eyes like a spacious tapestry.
As far as my husband and I drove in early May, 
we couldn't find pink carpets but only a few patches of pinks 
even in the Asuka Village,the ancient capital of Japan, now a laidback beautiful rural village.

In the past the pale-purple to pink carpets of the flowers brought people the real feeling of spring,
nowadays bring the nostalgic feeling of spring.

Linked to Through My Lens


  1. It's really nice to see the flowers blooming in the fields. Gorgeous shots. Thank you for linking in with "Through My Lens"

    Mersad Donko Photography

  2. Just beautiful! I love to see wildflowers in fields.

  3. The flower fields of long ago hold fond and special memories! The flowers look delicate and one can only dream their seeds are strong and will return with carpets of blooms to fill the fields again with color.

  4. It would be a shame if those lovely pale pink carpets should be lost forever. There was a period here, several years ago, when our roadside hedgerows were sprayed and hosts of wild flowers were lost from the grassybanks. People complained, as they are joyous to see, and are necessary for all of the butterflies and insects too. The policy of spraying was abandoned and fortunately the flowers have all come back again.

  5. How sad to have missed all the flower carpets. Your shots are lovely.

  6. Pretty sight, even if not on the scale that was seen in the past.

  7. Your photos are gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing, and thanks as well for the information you are sharing, I learned something new today.

  8. they are so lovely, each image, each flower.
    and such a good way to take care of the soil and future plants.
    it is a shame that ways have changed with chemical fertilizers.
    i try to buy only organic everything. my way of not only caring for myself but all life on earth.

  9. These are indeed very beautiful. For some reason I think they'd make a great decoration on a kimono. We have fields of pink flowers in the spring here, also, but they are not as pretty as these. It's too bad that chemical fertilizers had to be used instead of the Chinese milk vetches.

    Hope that all is well with you and your family!

  10. Så söt den blomman är.. att så växter för näringens skull finns det några här på kolonin som gör. Vi försöker ju att vara så miljövänliga vi kan på våra odlingar.
    Kan tänka mig att det måste varit vackert med alla lila fälten på våren, det är sånt som är viktigt att uppleva
    Ha nu en bra och skön vecka .
    Här regnar det mest och är inte alls så varmt som förra veckan de har liksom tagit lite paus här med våren.hoppas på ny värme
    Kram Meta

  11. The carpet of milk vetch you photographed in Asuka is so lovely. Sometimes, my eyes long for these stretches of blooms that still live in my memory. Every summer, I hope that I will find a meadow covered in wildflowers - so fragile and romantic. I have a pink vining vetch that blooms in my front flower bed. I think this summer I'll treat it with respect (instead of calling it a weed), and I'll see how it looks vining through my bushes.

  12. 子供の頃はもっとれんげの花を見かけたように思いますね。明日香村の植物園広々していて気持良さそう!ゆっくり散策されたことと思います。そろそろ春休みも終わりにしてカムバックしようかと思います。毎年この時期に海外旅行してる義理妹は5月には長く母を預かってくれるんです。ゆっくり休みました。グリーンゲーブルズもなんとか読み終わりました。では又ね。

    1. レンゲ草は土壌を豊かにするようですよ。撮影は甘樫丘への登り口の道路を隔てた畑一帯のところどころにあったささやかなレンゲ畑が3枚。あとは春日大社の万葉植物園のレンゲ草です。意外にも広いレンゲ畑がないのに驚き。数年前には橘寺周辺の田んぼにもありませんでした。See you!

  13. Now also they look nice pink patches of flowers, but it certainly would have been more beautiful flower carpets. However, it is spring, and let's enjoy her. Regards.

  14. Lovely flowers, pictures and "carpet" !!!!
    Have a shinny day !

  15. Dear Yoko...I must tell you that looking at your blog once again I'm blessed by a sense of calm and peace that derives from it. You have a gift for photography and for sharing the beauty of your area so that that beauty spills over onto those of us who read your words and look at your photos.

    And I want to thank you for the many very kind and very generous comments on my blog. It's always good to hear from you, but especially nice when you take the time to go through so many of my posts!

    May your life be filled with love, joy and peace!

  16. Gosto muito dessas cores... formam um belo tapete...

  17. The photos remind me of the classic movie, "The Sound of Music" :)

  18. Changes bring nostalgia sometimes. Your photos are beautiful, I love especially the first blurred one, it looks almost like a painting! Greetings Yoko! :-)

  19. こんにちは。昔懐かしいレンゲソウの風景ですね。 レンゲソウに住む根粒菌が稲に栄養を供給するそうで、目を楽しませて呉れるばかりではなく、秋の収穫にも貢献する素晴らしい植物ですね。ビリーバンバンの「れんげ草」という歌もありました。

  20. Dear Yoko,
    Just today we spoke about how few dandelions are left on the lawns of our town. We went for a walk and talked of “good old days” when they used to make terrific carpets of bright green and yellow. Now they come in scarce patches.
    It feels strange sometimes how we think in unison, I mean, you in Nara and me in Blagoveshchensk.
    I’ve been to busy with checking course and diploma papers, no time for blogging. Hope to write soon.
    Yet, May is wonderful with blossoms and scents. Have a great time outside in Nara Park, and say hello to deer from us!

  21. Hi Yoko, your Spring meadows look like what we expect in Summer! The milk vetch is lovely and delicate and the children's song is complements your photos so well.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  22. Sadly, the old ways of looking after the land are being forgotten with the constant application of chemical fertilizers. I think I prefer the old way, with the carpets of pink flowers in the fields during the flowering season and then the gift of nitrogen in the soil when the plants are ploughed under. What will happen to our earth? We need to look after her and stop spreading poison.

  23. Sadly, the old ways of looking after the land are being forgotten with the constant application of chemical fertilizers. I think I prefer the old way, with the carpets of pink flowers in the fields during the flowering season and then the gift of nitrogen in the soil when the plants are ploughed under. What will happen to our earth? We need to look after her and stop spreading poison.

  24. 愛らしい! 昔、この花を摘んで花冠りを作った記憶があります、、、不器用でなかなか難しかったです。 相変わらず写真がゴージャスです!のどかなところですねえ。ポカポカ感が伝わってきます。こんな場所、いつまで存在するのかしら?

  25. I do see many of them here in Bavaria it seems :)

  26. Hi Yoko
    thank you for this beautiful glimpse of your environment and the accompanying back ground story. I loved it.
    Happy Days

    1. Hi Delwyn! So nice to hear from you. This surprise comment made me imagine if you might have resumed blogging. I visited your blog to find no posts since the last time. You must have been amazed and entertained by your grandchildren, busily but happily. I can imagine how your D has grown to see my five-year-old F. Happy days to you, too.


  27. Ooh! These pink flower carpets are so beautiful, dear Yoko. You must be missing the childhood memories of seeing them so much. I wish people were a bit more sensitive to retain the traditional eco-friendly methods for future generations to come instead of opting for the chemical ones. That would be our true gift back to nature which already gives us so much.

    Wish you and yours a great weekend ahead from India.

  28. So pretty - the natural fertilizer was so much better for the environment. We know how the chemical ones have caused problems in lakes and rivers encouraging the proliferation of algae. Sometimes the old ways make more sense.

  29. Dear Yoko,
    I hope you're fine, haven't heard from you for a long time.
    Just a note, in case you read my new post. It is mixed - in Russian and English. So do not turn on Google translate at once, thank you!
    I will write a proper letter after I finish checking course papers. Enjoy the last spring days!

  30. That is such a pity. So often artificial fertilisers really don't give the soil all that it needs. I suppose it is much easier for farmers to simply spray fertiliser than do the hard work of gathering the greens and preparing them to go on the land. The answer might be to press the government to offer money to farmers to use green compost. The reason is not just the beauty of the flowers (although that's important) but the fact that the flowers provided pollen for bees, and were part of the wildlife chain that it is so important to preserve.
    I hope that there are ecological societies in Japan that can lobby for the use of sustainable and organic farming.
    Are you continuing to enjoy Spring though? Here, it is already seeming like early summer, although a few trees still have blossom on.

  31. it is beautiful. natural fertilizer sounds better than chemical, but alas, chemicals are easier to apply. we have a vetch here that is considered invasive to our pastures. it is bad for cattle to eat so most ranchers do not like to see it.

  32. How many beauty in these captures of the simple and fragile flowers of the field! It is a great pleasure to contemplate your photographies and to read your explanations, Yoko. Thank you, very much.


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