The aesthetic and symbolic properties of plants and gardens are enjoyed the world over, but this book focuses on 200 of the plants which enjoy particularly high esteem in The Orient. Oriental Flowers presents these specimens by means of beautifully hand-drawn plates. It may come as a surprise to many peoplethat the majority of the cultivated plants and trees we are so fond of here in the western world originally hailed from China and the Orient. The Chinese revere the plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum as the "four gentlemen," believing that they possess incomparably noble qualities; and for the Japanese, cherry blossoms symbolize love and hope. This has led to a longstanding tradition of painting plants that developed into a significant style of painting. The book is firmly rooted in this tradition, and of particular importance is the way in which it has been produced; printed on paper scroll which is as thin as silk, it is bound using traditional methods.