Dressed like human gift packages at Shibuya station

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夏の浴衣は季節の素敵なプレゼントのようです。少し不便かもしれませんが、上品です。一瞬、渋谷駅にいるのを忘れました。

Is it the ribbon tied in the back? Summer yukatas are the best. Maybe not the most practical clothing, but certainly stylish and elegant. I momentarily forgot I was at Shibuya station.

 

Old housing “danchi” has rare mix of gardens and wildness in posh Aoyama

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青山団地には、珍しい庭と荒地が混ざっています。ここに来ると、いつも@a_small_lab を思い出します。

Always reminds me of @a_small_lab

Night view of Tokyo balcony garden in summer

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 デジタルカメラで、夜景の写真をとってみています。昼間はジメジメしているので、夜のほうが、ベランダの庭を楽しめます。

I’ve been experimenting with my digital camera to take night views of my Tokyo balcony garden. With the daytime heat, the garden is most enjoyable at night.

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Okinawa morning glory became dominant element of summer balcony garden

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夏のベランダで、琉球のアサガオが一番目立つ存在になっています。マンションと都市の間に、きれいなブラインドになってくれています。

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.

A hazy day at the beach in Enoshima

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夏のビーチパーティーに参加するために、江ノ島に行きました。

I also attended a large beach party In East Enoshima, in Kanagawa. It’s very picturesque, but the water was not so clean.

Tanuki arrives at a summer house party with a scrotum full of ice cream

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夏のハウスのパーティーにやってきて、タヌキ袋からアイスクリームを配っています。

 

It’s a small jungle in summer on my Tokyo balcony garden

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夏はベランダの植物がみんな大きくなります。緑の葉が多いので、ジャングルがみたいです。

In summer, lush foliage dominates my balcony garden. The morning glory curtain continues to bloom facing the sun, but inside there’s a cacophony of leaf shape and color tone, including olive, fig, and camellia. With so much new growth, you can hardly see the narrow wood path.

The top two photos face west and east. The lowest photo also faces east, and shows the layering of shoulder high and knee high plants. The grass plant in the white ceramic has some red leaves, which make a dynamic accent to the many shades of green.

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Succulents on top of the air conditioner look good in heat of summer

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夏、エアコンの上はベランダの庭で一番暑いところです。今そこに多肉サボテンを置きました。この陶芸の植木鉢は手仕事屋久家で作りました。

The balcony summer hotspot is the air conditioner, almost always on and blowing hot air. This summer, I’m enjoying succulents which seem fine on top, but probably not in front, of the a/c. They have fun colors, shapes, and even textures. The ceramics were made at Kuge Crafts.

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Grove of trees shimmers in summer heat

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夏の港区の芝で、森林の葉が光っています。涼しいスポットです。

Definitely a cool spot between Shiba Koen and the office and commercial district leading to Hamamatsucho.

Summer is a good time to let the outdoors come inside

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夏、ベランダの植物が部屋のなかへ入ってくると、うれしくなります。

In a small apartment, the balcony is always close by. It’s great to open the window, and let the plants visit indoors.

Up-sized bush is getting bushier

夏にこのカナメモチの木をもっと大きな植木鉢に入れました。今新しい赤色の葉がたくさん出てきています。

This summer I up-sized the pot for this wonderful kanamemochi bush, so common in Tokyo. In spring the new leaves are red, and it’s very easy to prune the bush into a hedge or any shape you want. I want to use it as a screen for the washing machine or air conditioner.

These two weedy lots for sale attract bats at twilight

東京の夏は、草の背が高くなってたくさん茂ります。この売り出し中の空き地に、コウモリがよく来ます。いまのところ、虫が多そうです。コウモリには都合がいいですね。

A Tokyo summer quickly produces thick and tall weeds. These two empty lots are for sale near our house. In the meantime, they are supporting a large insect population, and attracting bats. There’s something wonderful about this temporary nature spot.

Balloon vine is a fun summer climber

経堂駅から農大に行く途中で、面白い庭がある家をいつも観察します。去年は色々なアサガオが育っていました。今は、背の高いフウセンカズラがたくさんの緑とオレンジ色の実を見せてくれています。私たちのベランダにもこの夏のつる草があります。

On the long walk from Kyodo station to Nodai (Tokyo University of Agriculture), there’s a house and large garden where the residents are always gardening. This year they created a huge, two meter high trellis of fusenkazura (フウセンカズラ). The name is literally balloon kudzu, and despite looking delicate, it’s very hardy. The vine produces lots of white flowers, followed by a multitude of green balls that then turn orange. This year, I’m growing two specimens on our balcony.

Lotus flowers growing in buckets at Araiyakushi temple in Nakano

バケツの中で育っている蓮は新井薬師神社にあります。夏の風が吹いて人が少ないとき、ここは静かです。

These lotus flowers look so perfect at night I had to check that they were real. It was charming to see them blowing in the warm summer wind in front of the main temple at Araiyakushi in Nakano. I was even more surprised to realize that this mini-field was growing in a dozen over-sized buckets. Below you can see the entrance to the temple from the street, with lanterns and gates.