史火

Mini red pepper grown on balcony and set in bonsai pot

この赤唐辛子は大きくてならなかったけれど、盆栽の植木鉢に、サイズは完璧です。

I was a little sad that this red pepper never grew past mini-size. But its the perfect size for this bonsai pot that I also use for air plants.

Shiho ceramic teachers and students make sake bottle character

180度開脚しているのが一番好きです。史火陶芸教室の先生と生徒さんが「とっくりとっくん」という日本酒のキャラクターの陶芸を作りました。このキャラクターのことをあまり知りませんでしたが、面白いですね。

This sake bottle character is named Tokkuri Tokkun (とっくりとっくん). The Shiho ceramic studio teachers and students each made one. I like Tokkuri Tokkun’s super-flexible limbs, particularly the one doing the splits.

Narrow garden path on balcony has many levels and lots of ceramics

庭の道は狭いのに、ベランダにはたくさんのレベルがあります。さらに、自作の陶芸の植木鉢もたくさんあります。

Basil, nasturtium, and parsley are all good balcony & kitchen garden plants

料理に使えるバジルやキンレンカやイタリアパセリはベランダでよく育ちます。ベランダは台所にとても近いです。

I like to have ready access to fresh herbs, and to use nasturtium flowers in salads. These potted herbs on the balcony are close to the kitchen so I can use them often.

Ceramic vase with balcony’s first rose this year, plus rosemary

史火陶芸教室で作った花瓶に、ベランダの植物を入れました。このピンクバラはいい香りがします。形と香りのために、ローズマリーも一緒に入れてみました。

Using balcony plants, I created this small arrangement in a ceramic vase I made at Shiho. This pink rose has a good scent, and i added rosemary for additional scent and its mix of hard needles and curvy stems.

Strawberries are taking shape. Looks like 6 plants will make a big harvest.

「東京イチゴ」には、小さなフルーツがいっぱい出来ています。最初にイチゴを食べられるのは鳥か自分か分かりません。

There are so many small fruits taking shape on my six “Tokyo strawberry” plants. I hope we get them before the birds do.

Spring has sprung on my Tokyo balcony

東京のベランダで春の到来を感じるのが大好きです。今年の最初のアゲハを見ましたし、鳥がたくさん来ましたし、ブルーベリの花が咲いているし、イチゴのフルーツが大きなっています。

I love sensing spring’s arrival on my Tokyo balcony. First butterfly of this year, more birds, blueberry bush flowering, strawberries taking shape.

White pansies have bloomed all winter in kintsugi ceramic

史火で友人のマシューが作った金継ぎの植木鉢の中でこの白色のパンジーは冬からずっと咲いています。金継ぎという芸術は壊れた陶器を直すことです。

I love this white pansy and the beautiful kintsugi pot that my friend Matthew made at Shiho ceramic studio. Kintsugi is a technique for repairing broken pottery, and involves painting the cracked lines in gold or silver. They’re have been many continuous flowers for months, even though I never added soil or any nutrients to the store-bought filler plant. Very satisfying and cheerful.

Fire-colored African daisies on Tokyo balcony

ベランダに、火のような色のアフリカ・デイジーが咲いています。史火陶芸教室で作った植木鉢で一番大きいです。

African daisies on Tokyo balcony. This is the largest of the handmade ceramic pots I have made at Shiho studio.

True horticulturalists like rare plants, or specialize in specific species. And garden snobs often like a constrained palette. For my own garden, I like a lot of color and don’t mind the most ordinary plants if they are colorful and hardy.

Still dormant persimmon bonsai on Tokyo balcony. Enjoying plants involves waiting.

今まで、この柿の盆栽は休眠中です。八年待たないと柿は実らないそうです。本当でしょうか。

My balcony garden is starting to perk up for spring, but this persimmon bonsai is still dormant. I remember the day I brought it back two years ago. My neighbor asked me what I have, and then gave me a sad look. “You know it takes eight years for persimmons to fruit, don’t you?” she asked me. I am more patient than I look.

Mini-daisies in ceramic pot on Tokyo balcony: white

ベランダに、白いミニデイジーもチューリップも多肉植物もあります。植木鉢は全部史火陶芸教室で作りました。

White mini-daisies on Tokyo balcony. Handmade ceramic pots, all made at Shiho studio. In the background are tulips and succulents. I like mixing up things.

Mini-daisies in ceramic pot on Tokyo balcony: pink and yellow

ベランダに、ピンクと黄色のミニデイジー。植木鉢は史火陶芸教室で作りました。

Pink and yellow mini-daisies on Tokyo balcony. Handmade ceramic pot, made at Shiho studio.

“Scabiosa blue balloon” sounds like a medical condition and hospital gift. Actually, it’s very fetching.

「スカビオサ・ブルー・バールン」という名前は疾患か病院からのプレゼントみたいです。ライラックの色はとても素敵です。今年、はじめて見ました。

This lovely lilac flower with an odd name, Scabiosa blue balloon, is one I don’t remember seeing before. It’s native to southeast England, and developed into a garden cultivar. I like to mix up nostalgic plants like daffodils with ones I’m not familiar with.

Daffodils are very cheerful. Changing out the ceramic flowerpots.

ラッパスイセンはとても明るいです。陶芸の植木鉢の花を変えました。

It was nice to re-pot my favorite hand-made ceramics with fresh flowers. I love daffodils for being so cheerful, with a high contrast between fresh green leaves and yellow buds.

Lupinus re-made into showy annual. It’s only barely recognizable from American species.

この冬は長くて寒いですね。最近、自転車でホーム・センターに行って、花をたくさん買いました。ルピナスと言う花はキャンディーのような色です。北米の起原だけど、日本のは全然違います。ベランダに置きました。素敵です。

This winter seems to never end. So I biked over to the local home center recently, and loaded up on bright flowers including daffodils, tulips, stock, and this amazing lupinus. I am familiar with it as a very handsome deep blue flowering perennial, native to North America, that becomes a bush. I’d never seen it in candy colors and bred for maximum floral display. It’s at once familiar, odd, and just the right antidote for more cold days.