グリーンカーテン

Still no monkeys on Tokyo balcony

balcony_livingroom_aug

まだ猿はベランダに来ていませんが、先月よりも、バナナが大きくなり、グリーンカーテンも濃くなっています。

Compared to one month earlier, the banana is bigger, and the green curtain thicker.

Clematis lost to unusual August typhoon

clematis_in_focus_balcony

先週の台風がグリーンカーテンのクレマチスを殺してしまいました。葉がきれいだったので、残念です。

Last weekend’s typhoon killed the clematis vine that had spread across the green curtain. It must have snapped close to the base.

clematis_background_focus_balcony

“Balloon vine” spreads out quickly, with white flowers and odd sacks

 

 

balloon_vine_balcony

他にある安くて、早く育つつる植物は、フウセンカズラと言います。自分で勝手にグリーンカーテンの紐に絡んで、白い花と不思議な袋を作ってくれます。

Another fast and cheap climbing vine is called “balloon vine” (fusenkazura) in Japanese. I love how it spreads out, attaches to the rope, and offers white flowers and odd sacks.

Perennial Okinawa flowers are brilliant against the grey sky

morning_glory_okinawa_purple

毎朝、灰色の空を背景に、この琉球アサガオが明るく咲いています。5年間くらい、この紫色の花がグリーンカーテンをきれいにしてくれています。

I love this Okinawa morning glory that I’ve been growing on my balcony for years. Even after a hard trim last fall, it’s back and blooming every morning. The flowers are brilliant against the grey sky.

Leaf by leaf, the balcony green curtain fills in

green_curtain_rainy_season

梅雨のあいだに、ベランダのグリーンカーテンがどんどん濃くなっています。今、つる植物が8種類あります。バナナの木も、都市と家のあいだに緑の壁を作ってくれています。

In a month of humidity and heat, this year’s green curtain is gradually filling in. There are now eight vines, and the banana tree providing a green wall between home and city.

 

balcony_rainy_season

The green curtain becomes covered with vines quickly

green_curtain_early_summer

梅雨の蒸し暑い天気のおかげで、つる植物がベランダのグリーンカーテンを早く覆っています。今、三種類のクレマチス、琉球朝顔、フウセンカズラ、バラがあります。

The warm, humid weather has jump-started the green curtain. So far, there’s three types of clematis, Okinawa morning glory, fusenkazura (balloon vine), and a climbing rose.

Before the green curtain fills out

green_curtain_living_room_midMay
初夏は、まだグリーンカーテンが見えません。天気がもっと暑くなると、つる植物がネットを全て覆います。

It won’t be long before the strings are covered in vines.

Green curtain filling in again

greencurtain_may_nakano_balcony

今年もグリーンカーテンが厚くなってきました。琉球アサガオやバラやジャスミンがネットに登っています。左側、カナメモチは台所に一番近いです。

This year’s green curtain is filling in. Already leafing out are the perennial Okinawa morning glory, jasmine, and a pink rose. The kanamemochi (photina) bush is about 1.5 meters tall, and brings the garden right up to the sliding glass kitchen doors.

Even dormant, green curtain provides an extra wall for small apartment living

green_curtain_winter_dormant_nakano_home
冬のあいだも、グリーンカーテンは自然な仕切りになって、目を楽しませてくれます。

This small green curtain on the balcony, even when dormant, creates an extra space in our tiny apartment by setting a porous garden edge.  This living curtain provides some privacy and some charm. Soon it will be leafing out.

Suginami ward’s giant green curtain shows positive activity by local government

今年の杉並区役所のグリーンカーテンはすてきです。

When people ask me about positive government action for urban nature, I always point to the Suginami ward’s giant green curtain. This massive screen of vines rises each summer on their eight story ward office next to the Minami Asagaya station on the Marunouchi subway line. It has inspired local residents to create their own balcony green curtains, inserted a huge green space that occupies very little square footage on the ground, and demonstrated that their old office building can be energy saving, attractive, and full of life.

Can you spot the tiny cucumber taking shape?

小さいキュウリが見えますか。グリーンカーテンにぴったりの植物だと思います。

Cucumbers grow quickly, and they are easy to attach to the green curtain.

Thick green curtain covers balcony in summer

このベランダの中は、ジャングルみたいです。夏のグリーンカーテンがバルコニー全体を覆っています。

It must feel like a jungle in this Shinjuku Gyoen-mae apartment balcony. The sheer coverage, in height and width, is impressive. Below is what the balcony looks like in context.

Roses bloom early on balcony. Along with jasmine, first to bloom on green curtain

毎年、グリーンカーテンにバラとジャスミンが最初に咲きます。庭の背景は建物の森みたいです。

I like the city backdrop to my balcony green curtain. The rose and jasmine are the first to bloom.