Lu Zhi presented Planting Chrysanthemums to his friend Tao in exchange for rare cuttings. To express his ideal of reclusion, Lu combined poetry with painting:I hear you have opened up a “Tao path” near the ocean,Where clouds of leaves and frost-covered flowers vie in wondrous splendor.I too have built a new residence at Zhixing Mountain,May I share some of your autumn colors on my eastern hedge?The first two lines of Lu’s verse allude to “Peach Blossom Spring,” a famous poem by his friend’s namesake Tao Qian (365–427) in which a fisherman stumbles upon a hidden Utopia. In the last two lines, Lu suggests that he has planned his own Utopian retreat and refers to the growing of chrysanthemums, a passion he shared with Tao Qian.Lu was the son of a Suzhou schoolteacher and a pupil of Wen Zhengming (1470–1559). After his father’s death, Lu supported his family by selling his paintings. About 1557 he retired to the mountains west of Suzhou, where he led a reclusive life cultivating rare flowers, poetry, and painting. Awash in mist and soft colors, the crystalline mountains in Lu’s painting perfectly evoke the dreamlike Peach Blossom Land of the immortals.