Leopard plant makes me think we have a damp creek on our Tokyo balcony

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秋の花では、日本庭園のツワブキが大好きです。ツワブキのおかげで、東京のベランダは小川のある湿地みたいです。

One of my favorite Japanese fall flowers is “leopard plant,” called tsuwabuki (ツワブキ) in Japanese. Many traditional gardens use it, and it looks like it could be growing wild by the stream.

Two types of morning glory cover summer balcony

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空の状態によって、アサガオの色がいつも変わります。この二つは対象的な色ですね。それぞれの花は半日くらいしかもたないので、もっときれいに思えます。

The colors of these two morning glories depend on the sky and change during the day. They are always contrasting: pink and violet, red and blue. Flowering for less than a day, their impermanence adds to their charm.

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My friend Shige tends his sidewalk garden on a busy street

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友達のシゲが大きな道路沿いの歩道の庭を世話しています。お店はFloris Hirokoといって、シゲさんはよく国連大学の前のファーマーズマーケットで花や植木を販売しています。

Shige works at a flower shop called Floris Hiroko, and he often sells flowers at the UNU farmers market.

A riot of color in fresh flowers and balloons welcomes opening of convenience store

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日本では、コンビニが新しく開くときに、花とバルーンで祝います。

In Nakano.

Purple Edo morning glory is elegant and short-lived

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琉球アサガオより、江戸アサガオの開花期のほうが短いです。この紫色の花はほとんど枯れています。

The Edo morning glory doesn’t have a long season like the perennial Okinawa version. You can see this bloom is already starting to wither.

Gorgeous cucumber flowers, but unfortunately no cukes

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種から育ったキュウリの花がきれいですが、実がなっていません。衆生は全部雄花だと言っています。それは可能でしょうか。花がたくさんあります。

The cucumbers I grew from seed had a lot of flowers. Unfortunately, there were no vegetables. Shu thinks maybe all my plants were male. Is that possible? At least they look good.

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Sunflower blooms next to the road, outside the gardener’s property

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このコーナーは家と歩道の境目にありますが、近所の方のおかげでいつもきれいな花が咲いています。

This sunflower is blooming in a tiny mound of dirt outside a neighbor’s house. I love how she maintains this corner and always offers some seasonal color to the passers-by.

Lovely vine covers street-side window with red and yellow lanterns

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花がいっぱい咲いている蔓植物が路地の前の窓にちょっとしたプライバシーを提供しています。濃い青色の陶器タイルもきれいですね。

I love how this easy to grow vine sends its growth down. The owner has trained it over the street-side window so that it provides additional privacy. There’s also two types of bamboo shades, and three spider plants. I also like how the blue ceramic tile adds a decorative element to what is a very functional architecture typical of post-war Japan.

Lush pink potted hellebore signals end of winter, outside tonkatsu restaurant

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クリスマスローズという花は冬の終わりのしるしです。この植木鉢は、東高円寺のトンキという大好きなトンカツ店の外にありました。

This potted hellebore, pronounced kurisumasu rouzu in Japanese, looks super lush outside my favorite tonkatsu restaurant, Tonki in Higashi Koenji. These flowers signal the end of winter.

I appreciate camellias for their indestructible and garish winter color

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冬がきらいですが、ツバキが大好きです。最低限の世話でも雪でも、鮮やかな花が長いあいだ咲きます。

Camellias can be seen everywhere during Tokyo’s winter.

I am not a fan of winter, so I particularly appreciate camellia’s for proving indestructible color in bright pink on the coldest days. Whether pruned into a hedge, or placed in a plastic container, camellias are resilient to snow and require minimal care. The neighbor’s camellia has turned into a 5 meter tall tree.

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Hyancinth backlit on my Tokyo balcony

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一日終わりに、花が逆光で映っています。球根の花は真冬にとても陽気に見えます。

Another way to cheer up the winter balcony are bulbs. I love seeing hyacinths backlit on the narrow balcony.

Plum blossoms on pedestrian path give off intoxicating scent

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寒い日に、梅の花が濃くて甘い匂いを出しています。冬の歩行者通路をきれに見せてくれています。中野で。

On a cold overcast day, these white plum blossoms provide a thick sweet fragrance. It reminded me of narcissus and early spring, although we’re still in mid-winter.