How to embrace Japan’s micro-seasons in your own garden

Observing fleeting seasonal changes goes hand in hand with gardening – and bring about a profound sense of calm

In Japan, people eat, sleep and wear the seasons, from elegant kimono motifs to petal-shaped sweets and festivals dedicated to nature’s spectacular displays. Unlike its western equivalent, Japan’s ancient agricultural calendar is governed not solely by the waxing and waning of the moon and the sun’s position in the sky, but also by the blooming of seasonal flowers and other small changes in nature against the wider backdrop of the seasons.

According to the traditional Japanese almanac, the year is divided into four major seasons, 24 sekki (solar terms), and 72 , or micro-seasons. Each lasts only five days and is associated with specific seasonal rituals, foods, flowers and festivals.

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