When flowers are arranged in the tea room, ones that are in bloom in that season, at the time when the tea event is being held, are used. Flowers give the most direct expression of the feeling of the season, which is what gives the tea event its form. The theme of the tea event or the tea gathering is based on the feeling of the season, and the monthly seasonal changes combined with the occasional annual events are what give the tea event their interest through the year. Flowers bring the feeling of the season directly into the tea room, and their short-lived nature reminds us of the transience of seasonal beauty. 'Flowers make us appreciate time' is an old saying, telling us that because the lives of flowers are so short they invite us to enjoy life while we can.
Flowers of the months and seasons
The kuchikiri ('opening the new jar of tea leaves') tea gathering in November is the New Year of the world of tea, being the first gathering in the season of the hearth, which lasts for half a year. The camellia begins to bloom at this time and is the typical flower used at this time. The camellia, which has many varieties, could be called the king of flowers from winter to spring. Rikyu is said to have liked white flowers, but one often sees combinations of red and white flowers. At the beginning of May summer begins, according to the lunar calendar, and for six months it is the season of the furo (brazier). The typical flower of summer is the mukuge (rose of Sharon).
Let us look at some of the flowers of the season of the hearth. There are many kinds of camellia, among them, hatsu-arashi (first storm), shiratama (white gem), akebono (dawn), seiobo , kamo-hon'ami are often seen. Kangiku chrysanthemum, robai plum, hakubai plum, momo (peach), niwatoko, kanbotan peony and so on are often used as flowers in the season of the hearth. Here are some of the flowers used in the season of the brazier. Miyako wasure, awamoriso, hanashobu (iris), natsu-tsubaki camellia, mukuge (rose of Sharon), nadeshiko (pink), mizuhikiso, kibune-giku chrysanthemum, and so on, can be seen in this season.
The best flowers to put in the tea room are the flowers of the season. To intentionally choose unusual kinds can actually be a distraction from the main idea of the tea event.