Huajing 花鏡 "Mirror of flowers", in various editions also called Michuan huajing 秘傳花鏡, Yuanlin huajing 園林花鏡, Huihua yuanlin huajing 繪圖園林花鏡, Baihua zaipei mijue 百花栽培秘訣 or Qunfang fangjing 群芳芳鏡, is a book on flowers written during the early Qing period 清 (1644-1911) by Chen Haozi 陳淏子 (b. c. 1612), also called Fuyao 扶搖, style Huayin Laoren 花隱老人 or Xihu Huayin Weng 西湖花隱翁, from the outskirts of Hangzhou 杭州, Zhejiang.
The book of 6 juan length was finished in 1688. About the author's life and career, practically nothing is known. He seems to have made his life as a private "teacher in the garden" (wen yuan guan ke 文園館課). The "Flower classic" was based on personal experience which makes the book a valuable contribution to the art of gardening.
The book starts - at least in some editions - with a large amount of simple images of plants and animals.
Pine (Pinus spec., song 松), catawba (Catalpa spec., zi 梓), cypress (bai 栢, i.e. 柏), peony (Paeonia suffruticosa, mudan 牡丹), Chinese plum (Prunus mume, mei 梅), winter daphne (Daphne odora, ruixiang 瑞香), wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox, lamei 臘梅), and tea (Camellia spec., shancha 山茶). Tongren Hall 同人堂 edition.
The first chapter gives information about activities around flowers through the year like cutting, sowing, planting, potting, repotting, multiplication, grafting, collection of seeds, sowing, irrigation, trimming, etc. These practical matters of cultivation followed – according to custom – not just the calendar, but also mantic prognostication. The chapter also touches on the matter of seasonal phenology in the life of of flowers, trees, birds and insects as expected under the climatic conditions of the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
Chapter 2 describes 18 types of planting techniques, including planting, grafting, supporting, and protecting flowers, etc., as a general theory. The author quotes from a wide range of books and summarized the rules described in these texts, and adds his own practical experience. Some appended sub-chapters introduce unique arts of traditional Chinese gardening like design and distribution, seasonal arrangement of flowers, or the application of potted flowers and vase flowers.
The fascicles 3-5 describe 100 types of woody plants (huamu 花木), 92 types of climbing, hanging or creeping plants (tengwang 藤蔓), and 103 types of herbaceous plants (huacao 花草). The text closes with an appendix dealing with 40 various animals often used to 'populate' gardens, among them birds, mammals, fishes, as well as insects and amphibians.
The book is found in the editions of the Shancheng Hall 善成堂, the Jinchang Shuye Hall 金閶書業堂, and the Kasetsu Hall 花說堂 in Japan. Lithographic prints date from 1914 and 1936. Modern editions were published in 1956 by the Zhonghua Shuju Press 中華書局, and in 1962 by the Nongye Press 農業出版社. In 1959, Feng Xuhuan 酆裕洹 wrote a research on the "Flower mirror", Huajing yanjiu 花鏡研究.
|1||花曆新栽||New planting methods of the flower calendar|
|2||課花十八法||Eighteen methods to "guide" plants|
|3||花木類考||Types of woody plants|
|4||藤蔓類考||Types of creeping, climbing and hanging plant|
|5||花草類考||Types of herbaceous plants|
|附「禽獸鱗蟲考」||App. Birds, mammals, fishes, and "worms" (insects and amphibians)|