咲く

Mint flowering in the late afternoon sun

突然、ベランダのミントに紫色の花がたくさん咲きました。午後遅くの日光に、葉は金と赤い色になります。秋の瞬間です。

My mint is suddenly full of purple flowers. And in the late afternoon sunlight, the leaves turn gold and red. It’s a fall moment.

I love having herbs on my city balcony: for cooking, for scent, and for variety. Mint is ridiculously easy to grow, and I hope the seeds travel and plant themselves somewhere nearby.

Tree full of giant purple flowers

東大前の駅から出てきて、この木に咲くむらさきの花を見ると、しあわせになります。

Coming out of the Todaimae station on my way to teach at the University of Tokyo, this tree full of giant purple flowers makes me very happy.

Tomato starter plant already has mini-tomatos

 買ったとき、このトマトにはもう花が咲いていて、小さなトマトがなっていました。

This tomato starter plant, also bought at Shimachu, is flowering and already has several mini-tomatos despite its tiny size. So much engineering to create commercial food, even the ones we grow ourselves.

Small plum tree bonsai in full bloom

お店の外で、盆栽の梅がのんびりと咲いています。

I love how this extravagantly blooming plum tree is sitting outdoors at night, unprotected and unmindful of its surroundings.

[Date: March 3, 2011].

Summer, fall, winter, spring all in one day in January

一月は春夏秋冬が一度に見れる。これは友達の横浜のゲリラ・ガーデンです。咲いている水仙、大きな里芋の葉、 紅葉、明るいの冬空。

My friends John and Ruth McCreery sent me these wonderful photos of their guerrilla garden in Yokohama. The McCreery’s adopted a neglected patch of land between the road and the parking lot of their large residential complex. I like how they captured the odd feeling at New Year’s in the Tokyo region when you see plants typical of all four seasons all thriving. Plants that I recognize include large leafed taro, red maple leaves, and  blooming daffodils.

Maybe nothing is more typically winter in Japan than the presence of all the other seasons!

Update: Later I received an email from Ruth explaining how the taro plant arrive in the garden unexpectedly:

To me, the taro plant is hysterical.
People dump unwanted plants (and other things) in our guerrilla garden. The taro is one. It landed near the compost heap, and thrived. Soon it was crowding out the Japanese iris, but it was so vigorous that we hated to axe it. Transplanting a fairly large plant can be tricky, so we waited until last February, when it was seriously cold, dug a big hole, filled it with the compost it loved, and moved it over there. We then watched anxiously, wondering if it would accept the move, if the wind in the new spot might discourage it–or blow it over–or if it would continue to grow.
It’s about doubled since then!