Month: September 2013

Purple Edo morning glory is elegant and short-lived


The Edo morning glory doesn’t have a long season like the perennial Okinawa version. You can see this bloom is already starting to wither.

Have you ever heard of micro-basil?


マイクロ・バジルというバジルを聞いたことがありますか? ヒヨコさんからもらったたねの一つですが、たくさんありました。ちっちゃくて、おいしいです。

Micro-basil is small and tasty. Part of Hiyoko’s seed gift, this envelope contained by far the most seeds. Hundreds. As the sprouts grew larger, I started eating them as I thinned out the plants. Very tasty and delicate!

Gorgeous cucumber flowers, but unfortunately no cukes



The cucumbers I grew from seed had a lot of flowers. Unfortunately, there were no vegetables. Shu thinks maybe all my plants were male. Is that possible? At least they look good.


Vase made from persimmon juice


This vase is made with kakishibu, a dye made from persimmons. The vase was a gift from my in-laws, who brought it back from a trip to Shikoku. The bright red of the keitou flower (celosia argentea, or plumed cockscomb) seems to overwhelm the film.

A closer view of decorative grass on Tokyo balcony



The color and movement of this grass growing in a small flowerpot are very enjoyable.

Camellia has red-tinged new leafs



This camellia has survived in a small pot for many years. Since the photo was taken, I realize it’s already setting buds for winter.

Neon yellow mushrooms growing wild in container garden on Tokyo balcony


No matter how planned or controlled, even a balcony container garden gets volunteer plants. These mushrooms are neon yellow.

Summer Balcony Details: Sunflower sprouts in ceramic pot



This is the start of my summer balcony details series. A close look at some of the flowers, foliage and edibles of summer. First, a pot of micro-sunflowers, grown from Hiyoko’s seeds from Europe. The leaves looks so fresh.

Okinawa morning glory became dominant element of summer balcony garden



When it was blooming prolifically, the Okinawa morning glory became an exterior screen between the apartment and the city outside. The shades of violet, red and blue are stunning.

Planning a small garden at a new house in Nakano


I was so happy to see that the new neighbors are putting in a small garden. They built their house on a lot that used to have weeds and summer-time bats, after holding a Shinto ceremony. I am excited to see what they plant.

Hard-hat intervention at sidewalk Sony Aquarium in Ginza. Beware of the sidewalk shark!


Not sure what the crew is up to, but it makes for a dramatic surprise in Ginza. Beware of the sidewalk shark!

Pedestrian overpass also passes under freeway in Shiodome



This pedestrian overpass, which dips below the freeway in Shiodome, is a hot mess. I often wonder why city planners value pedestrians and bicyclists so much less than private vehicles and trucks. This is not how I’d like to walk to work from the station.