Tuesday 22 January 2008

I wonder about the name of this one.

Being perfect artists and ingenuous poets, the Chinese have piously preserved the love and holy cult of flowers; one of the very rare and most ancient traditions which has survived their decadence. And since flowers had to be distinguished from each other, they have attributed graceful analogies to them, dreamy images, pure and passionate names which perpetuate and harmonize in our minds the sensations of gentle charm and violent intoxication with which they inspire us. So it is that certain peonies, their favorite flower, are saluted by the Chinese, according to their form or color, by these delicious names, each an entire poem and an entire novel: The Young Girl Who Offers Her Breasts, or: The Water That Sleeps Beneath the Moon, or: The Sunlight in the Forest, or: The First Desire of the Reclining Virgin, or: My Gown Is No Longer All White Because in Tearing It the Son of Heaven Left a Little Rosy Stain; or, even better, this one: I Possessed My Lover in the Garden.

Octave Mirbeau, Torture Garden, "The Garden," Chapter 5.


  1. J'aime beaucoup cette photo !!
    Comme un tableau...

  2. This is a--could a girl with irreproducible grace reverse the earth's rotation if she so desired--canna lily. I always recognize this cultivar easily.

    Nevertheless, I'm glad I happened upon this wonderful blog. I actually searched for 'shady botanists' and was redirected to 'shaky botanists' by my search engine. Still, I'm happy to have landed here, on some bridge (hopefully not too shaky, as I hate shoddy workmanship).