Kids love the cute flowers of this plant which looks like a balloon in bud, and like a bell in bloom.

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These bellflowers have started blooming in our garden. They are groundcover in our garden. The kikyo is also called balloonflower which is what “kikyo” means in Japanese. This is because the flower has five-angled buds that look like the origami paper balloon.Here’s another article by Linda Inoki about the flower.

“Mother, the bush clover is in bloom
in the garden. And valerian, burnet, bellflowers, timothy —
the whole garden reeks of autumn. I am sure that
once it’s October your temperature will go down.”
I am praying that it will.
What a relief it will be when the sticky, lingering
September heat has passed!

From “The Setting Sun” by Osamu Dazai,
translated by Donald Keene (Charles E. Tuttle)

Along with last week’s wild carnation, the bellflower is one of Japan’s celebrated “seven flowers of autumn,” the others being bush clover, kuzu vine, fuji-bakama (or boneset), susuki grass and maiden flower. Actually, these lovely bellflowers (or balloon flowers) start blooming in summer, but according to the old calendar, autumn began in the seventh month, which corresponds to our August. During the season, all these plants and more appeared on the misty moors and in gardens, so endearing them to romancers of old.

The Japan Times
(C) All rights reserved
: Sept. 13, 2001

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