Peony gardening in Luoyang in Tang and Song Dynasties

There are not many records of peony gardening in Luoyang in Tang Dynasty, but song Danfu, a magical peony gardener, was mentioned in Xuanzong period. He came from Luoyang and planted thousands of flowers for the royal family in Lishan Mountain. In the Tang Dynasty, peonies had been transformed into many colors, such as pink, red (light red, flesh red, hot red), purple (including deep purple), yellow, white (including Tongbai and Huangbai). With the basic maintenance method, the color, fragrance and shape of peony in Tang Dynasty met the needs of people of all walks of life and laid a good foundation for the cultivation of peony in Luoyang in the Northern Song Dynasty. It’s a pity that the technique of peony gardening was not recorded and passed down in Tang Dynasty. In the Northern Song Dynasty, there was a special record of peony. Now we can see Ouyang Xiu’s records of Luoyang peony and Zhou Shihou’s records of Luoyang peony, plus the records of famous gardens in Luoyang and flowers and trees in Luoyang, so that we can see the magic place of Luoyang Peony gardening for the first time.

(1) The maintenance method of Luoyang Peony

After peony became an ornamental flower in Tang Dynasty, under the accumulation of flower technology, some methods of flower cultivation were formed. In Bai Juyi ‘. The water is sprinkled and covered with mud, and the color is the same as before. ” [11] Volume 425 at that time, people did not make a special summary of peony planting technology. In the Northern Song Dynasty, Luoyang had “good things and good plants”, and peony planting technology was recorded and passed on to the later generations. First of all, you have to choose a good land to plant flowers. If the land is not good, there are two ways: one is to “hoe more than three feet deep”, “remove the old soil as much as possible, use the fine soil to gather a jin of white soil, cover the peony root with sweet, attract more insects to eat, and white soil can kill insects” [1] Volume 22. Second, in April and may of each year, we should first rule the land. If the ground is a little fat and beautiful, it will be turned up, and the depth will be two feet. The stone and debris will be removed, and the skin will be hoed frequently to prevent grass from growing. “. Peonies do not need dung to grow, which can cause insects to eat roots. Secondly, the time of watering flowers is regular. Water the peony “either in the sun or in the west”. “It will be poured on September 10th, October 3rd, November 2nd, January 2nd, February 1st”. Moreover, in order to ensure the large flower type and multiple flower layers of peony, it needs to be peeled. It means that the peony “who has several flowers in one hair, choose the smaller one and leave only one or two”, so as not to “divide its veins”, ensuring the excellent quality of the remaining Peony Flowers [1] volume22. In addition, in the process of flower cultivation, there are some habits that can help flowers grow well. For example: when the peony flower falls, cut off the branches immediately, and don’t let the flower pick up the seeds, so as to ensure that the tree doesn’t grow old; in spring, after removing the covering on the peony flower, use the thorn branch to put it on the flowers, so as to keep warm and block the frost, and play the role of protecting the flower bud; when the peony flower opens, if you find a living insect, you can dip the big needle with the sulfur foam needle, “the insect is dead, and the flower is full again”; in addition, Peony flower is forbidden to squid and fishbone, such as “for needlework, enter its skin, and the flower will die” [1] Volume 22. The growth of peony needs careful care, while the variety and discoloration of peony need to change its ecological gene. Grafting is such a technology.

(2) The grafting method of Luoyang Peony

Chinese grafting technology originated earlier, “at least dating back to the Zhou Qin era” [12]. Since peony was basically used as a medicinal plant before Tang Dynasty, there was no need for artificial cultivation, and grafting technology was rarely used. In Tang Dynasty, peony gradually became an ornamental plant. In order to make peony become more colorful, larger flower type, more flower layers and stronger fragrance, grafting has undoubtedly become a better choice. In the Northern Song Dynasty, the grafting technology of Luoyang peony was more mature. “Most of the people in Luoyang had flowers, but those with few trees did not have good grafting. At the beginning of spring, Luo people sold small plants in Shouan mountain, which is called mountain grate. People manage the land as a kind of Qicheng, which is connected in autumn. From Ouyang Xiu’s records, it can be seen that Luoyang Peony grafting technology is a normal and mature technology. Luoyang people’s grasp of grafting time and methods is clearly recorded. First of all, the selection of grafting time, Ouyang Xiu and Zhou Shihou are recorded in autumn, “after autumn society, before Chongyang”. This point has been inherited for a long time. The grafting of modern Luoyang peony is also from late September to early October [1] volume22. As for the grafting method, Ouyang Xiu and Zhou Shihou also recorded it respectively. “The origin of flowers is five or seven inches to the ground. They are cut to meet, wrapped in mud, covered with soft soil, and covered with konjak leaves as a nunnery, so that there is no wind or sun. However, a small household will be left in the south to reach the Qi, and in the spring it will be uncovered. This is the way to connect flowers. ” [1] Volume 22 Zhou Shihou made a more detailed record: “when cutting the joint, it must be flat and wide, and the skin of changlinggen contains. The joint shall not be used as a sharp blade. If the blade is steep, the skin shall be thick and sweaty. The joint shall be tightly tied, and the wind shall not blow. Don’t make your mouth wet. The joint must be covered with fine soil and must not be touched. After the next month, you should see it from time to time. Don’t let the root grow jealous buds. When the buds grow, they will reduce the blood vessels, and the joints will be dry. Every joint should be made of fat and tender wood branches. It is better to have large, round and solid flower buds, and no flower if it is empty and sharp. ” These spectra employ plain and easy to understand language to describe the grafting technology of peony, such as how to select the joint, cut the joint, and how to observe after grafting. Even today, people can follow this operation, which shows that this technology has been very mature in the cultivation process of Luoyang peony, even everyone knows it.

(3) Luoyang famous peony gardener

In Ouyang Xiu’s records of peonies in Luoyang, it is recorded in Volume 22 of “door garden, which is called by the author of Huagong especially, and invited by the rich family” in Luoyang in the Northern Song Dynasty. This shows that in the Northern Song Dynasty, there were special peony workers in Luoyang, and some of them were skilled, which brought jobs and rich profits to the farmers who were good at planting flowers around Luoyang. Among Luoyang’s florists, “menyuanzi” is the most famous one, “he is good at picking flowers for a living, buying land in front of Chongde temple and managing the flower garden”, and has cultivated the rare variety “vermilion” [1] Volume 22. In Luoyang during the Northern Song Dynasty, if a Yao Huang joint was successfully taken alive, it would pay 5000 yuan of silver; when the Wei flower came out, the joint was also worth 5000 yuan, and when the later generations mastered the technology, the Wei flower joint would cost 1000 yuan. Due to the high price, in order to ensure the effect of the joint, the paper is set up in autumn and paid in spring. Luoyang Peony joint is so precious in the Northern Song Dynasty. The price of cultivated famous peony can be imagined. It’s not a loss making business for the hotties who want to connect. Because the news that the new famous peony will be cultivated will quickly spread throughout the city, and people will rush to watch it, which is also to pay. For example, at the beginning of the Wei Dynasty, “when people want to read it, they have to pay a tax of ten yuan, but they have to go on a boat to cross the pond to the flower house.”.

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