ブルーベリー

Mesh bag and clothes pins protect sidewalk blueberries

blueberry_net_clothespins_sidewalk_nakano
近所の方が、メッシュバッグと洗濯挟みで歩道のブルーベリーを守っています。食べるのを楽しみにしているみたいです。

I love how this neighbor is protecting her delicious blueberries with a mesh bag and some clothes pins. It’s such a DIY solution. She must be looking forward to eating the berries.

Blueberries are packed with flavor

ベランダのブルーベリーのフルーツは小さいのに、とても美味しいです。

We have several blueberry bushes on the balcony. The fruits are small and full of flavor. I wish I had enough to make a blueberry pie.

Blueberry bush with fruit for sale at Marunouchi flower shop

丸の内の花屋さんは、ブルーベリーの実のついた素敵な木を売っています。食用の植物は目を楽しませてくれます。

This gorgeous blueberry plant, full of perfect fruits, is being sold at Marunouchi flower shop. I love how it’s getting more common to use edibles as decorative landscape.

Eggplant flowers break the dichotomy between edible and decorative

ベランダの植物に、食用と装飾との違いはありません。ナスの花がきれいです。この写真の中に、イチゴ、キュウリ、ブルーベリー、ロズーマリー、パセリが見えます。さらに、今年、オクラを育てています。花がきれいで、僕はオクラが嫌いですが、相方が大好きです。

There’s no contradiction between edible and decorative garden plants, especially on a small balcony. I love these purple and yellow eggplant flowers. Also in the frame are strawberries, cucumber, blueberries, rosemary, and parsley. This year I’m also growing okra, which I don’t like to eat. It’s a beautiful plant, and my husband will eat them.

Blueberry bushes also turn color in fall

ブルーベリーも紅葉するのを知っていましたか。今年は初めてブルーベリーを育ています。こんなきれいな紅葉に驚いた。
Did you know that blueberry bushes also turn color in fall? This year for the first time I am growing blueberries. Such beautiful fall foliage surprised me.

Cosmos is a fall flower in Tokyo

コスモスは東京の秋の花だと知っていますか。近所の花店で買った。今庭で、ピンクや濃い青や白や黄色の花が多いです。ブルーベリーの葉は紅葉になります。

Did you know that cosmos are a fall flower in Tokyo? You see them everywhere this time of year, so I picked up this one from my neighborhood flower shop. This fall my garden has a lot of pink (roses, fujibakama), deep blue (Okinawa morning glory, lavendar, salvia), and white and yellow (pansies, marigold, geranium). The blueberry bush leaves are also turning red and gold.

Late summer balcony garden has some wildness

最近は季節が変わってきたと感じます。空気は乾燥してきたし、空はもっと青色ですし、ふわふわな雲が劇的に動きます。晩夏、うちの狭いベランダ庭では、野生の気分が出てきました。小さいな保育園の席やブルーベリーや陶芸の植木鉢があります。

The season is turning. The air is suddenly much drier, the sky bluer, and the clouds puffy and dramatic. These late summer photos show the wildness I was able to achieve in my narrow balcony garden this year.

Above is the view from the kitchen door. There’s a tiny nursery school chair, an already fading sunflower, a last burst of blueberries, and murasaki shikibu, a fall flower that I just bought.

Below you can see the shelf full of my amateur ceramic flowerpots, which can also be seen from the living room. One pot has basil. I like how the garden path seems longer and more over-grown than it is.

Studying firefly habitat in Gunma with a Tokyo middle school

東京農業大学の鈴木先生は東京の中学校でホタルの生息地を作る予定です。毎夏、先生と中学生は群馬県に行って、ホタルを観察して勉強します。今回、私も招待されました。

ホタルにはきれいな水と暗闇が必要です。鈴木先生によると、都市の生息地には社会的なデザインも要ります。学校のとなりのお寺や退職をした方たちのセンターも参加できます。

川場村に来て、中学生たちは田んぼの草むしりをして、小さい川でカニとカエルを観察しました。都市の子供なのに、中学生たちは本当に勇気があります。

夜に、ゲンジボタルとヘイケボタルを見ました。林と田んぼのそばにはホタルがいっぱいいます。

なかのビレジ」というホテルに泊まりました。内側は和風モダンで、外側は山の一部 みたいです。湯名な坂倉建築研究所はホテルを作りました。

川場村では、たくさんリンゴが育っています。最近、ブルーベリーも育っています。

Tokyo University of Agriculture Professor Suzuki is planning a firefly habitat at a junior high school. Each year, teachers and students from the Tokyo school visit Gunma to study fireflies. This year I was also invited.

Fireflies need clean water and darkness. According to Professor Suzuki, creating habitat in the city also requires a “social design.” The temple, cemetary, and senior center near the school are also invited to participate.

When we arrived at Kawaba-mura, the school girls weeded a rice field and played with frogs and crabs in the creek. Even though they are city kids, the students are very brave.

At night, we saw Genji fireflies and Heiki fireflies. There are a lot of fireflies on the edge between the forest and the rice field.

We stayed at a hotel called “Nakano Village” which on the inside is Japanese modern style, and on the outside the building looks like part of the hillside. It was designed by the famous Sakakura Associates.

Kawaba mura has many apple orchards, and recently they are also growing blueberries.

The trip made me think of the following:

  • How can gardens be created in multiple connected sites?
  • How can all city and country kids learn about each other’s environments and lives?
  • How can cities begin to value darkness as essential to their vitality?
  • How can kids and adults create habitat and support wildlife where they study, work, play, and live?

My first Tokyo balcony blueberry

はじめてのブルーベリーです。ベランダで育っています。去年も今年も、東京のあちこちでブルーベリーが売られているのを見ました。

This is my first balcony blueberry. Since last year, I have noticed more blueberry plants for sale in Tokyo, from home centers to neighborhood flower and plant shops. I am eager to see how easy it is to grow them in Tokyo, especially in my balcony container garden.