Peony garden,with a prime lens

So I visited the Botan-en (Peony garden) of Ueno Tosgu shrine to take winter peony pictures with a prime lens “smc FA31mm Limited”.

I thought it would be a bit old-fashioned to see peonies in this cold weather, but to my surprise, there was quite a variety of visitors to the garden. Adult couples, an young student-like couple, elegant ladies, foreign tourists of various skin colors, men and women of all ages with cameras in their hands just like me…. Botan-en was crowded with people.

Peonies are spring flowers. Originally, they bloom around Golden Week, but as shown in the photo, winter peonies bloom in the cold by covering them with straw hats or by other means to control the temperature and make the plants think they are blooming in the cold.

Isn’t it not only lovely but valuable, to think that the people who make botan-en take the time and care to make each flower bloom one by one? The shapes and colors of the large flowers varied, and I was able to enjoy the many changes.

In addition to peonies, the Botan-en is also home to Roubai(Japanese allspice). Although there are only a few of them, there are several different types of Roubai trees here, and each one blooms in a different way.

I heard that Roubai trees lose their leaves in winter and bloom after that (I learned this trivial knowledge from the conversation of ladies in the garden who seemed to be gardening enthusiasts). Here is a tree whose leaves have not fallen yet and whose buds are in the process of swelling.

I am ashamed to admit that this is the first time I have ever seen a Roubai buds its leaves.

Here is an another Roubai starting to bloom little by little. They are really lovely.

And this is probably a Soshin Roubai tree. The flowers are in full bloom now.

Roubais not only bloom vigorously in the cold, but also release a sweet fragrance. It is a flower that can be enjoyed with both the eyes and the nose during this season.

In addition to the Botan and Ruobai, the garden also features well-crafted bonsai, box gardens, and pots throughout the garden.

I do not appreciate the beauty of flowers, birds, wind, and moon, and I am not a horticulturist, but I walked around this Botan-en and took pictures with great admiration.
The last one was this garden with the five-story pagoda in the background, which made me “take pictures” without saying whether I wanted to or not.
I won’t include it in the composition because the 31mm single focus couldn’t help The small stone garden in the foreground was a nice feature of the landscape.

I wondered what would happen with a single 31mm lens, but fortunately, the garden allowed me to freely “lean in and out” to some extent, so I was able to get a reasonable amount of shots.

have a long way to go to master the FA31mm Limited, but here are some thoughts I had this time.
I think it would be good to find a way to take advantage of the soft bokeh effect without compensating for the considerable vignetting at the maximum aperture. This is a subject for future research.