Yes, I was back at the Botanical Gardens in the merry borough of the Bronx for the latest exhibit Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Garden held in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. This exhibit was all about the majesty, beauty and serenity of an autumnal garden filled with chrysanthemums and other flowers of the fall. Walking into the exhibit was to walk into a harvest of color in varying hues of red, orange, yellow, gold, brown and purple, displayed in perfect diagonal rows, rising hills or bountiful cascades.
To keep the slender stems of the mums straight each bloom was supported by a white sturdy wire that ended in a whirling hula-hoop swirl at the top which supported their delicate floral heads. There were big fluffy tight-fisted mums, others relaxed and unfurled their petal fingers; some were wiry, spider-like and stretched their tactile petals out to spook the passerby, while a few had rippling, tissue delicate petals and my favorite a vibrant flat mustard yellow flower with spear like petals and intense presence.
Absorbed in photography my attention was suddenly diverted by a driving pounding rhythm outside of the conservatory. I walked out to the lawn where a crowd was gathered sitting on the grass watching a group of Taiko drummers performing with thunderous precision. Children and adults were mesmerized by the percussionists, keeping time by tapping their feet and bobbing their heads, or playing “air” drums then, exploding into applause after each piece.
When the group took a break I walked over to the Haunted Pumpkin Garden, alive with laughing shrieking children and wild with menacing jack-o-lanterns, crazy pumpkin monsters, grasping pumpkin spiders, white gourd ghosts hiding under giant spotted squash mushrooms. Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere, making you aware with a shivery little tingle that Halloween is almost here.