bare

Bare cherry tree casts a decorative shadow on apartment building

cherry_tree_shadow_nakano_centralmansion
マンションの一階の窓を囲むような、葉のない桜の木の陰が大好きです。

I love the shadow of this cherry tree that surrounds a ground floor apartment window.

Giant magnolia towers over home, and shows off wavy branches in winter

giant_magnolia_winter_suginami

家より、このモクレンは背が高いです。杉並で。

This magnolia is huge, and you can see the branch structure clearly in winter.

Flower wall house, from street to roof, brightens a bare spot in Nakano

最初のフィルムに、一番好きな中野と新宿の庭の写真をとりました。飯島さんの花の壁はとても素敵です。Plant Journal という雑誌の記事に、インタビューをしました。訪ねたときに、飯島さんは、「今、何も咲いていません」と言っていました。フィルムなので、イメージが古く見えますね。

For my first roll of film, I took photos of my favorite gardens in Nakano and Shinjuku, plus my own balcony garden. In the foreground above is Iijima-san’s flower wall house. He has 500 hundred potted plants, mostly flowers, rising from the street to the roof. I interviewed Iijima-san for the Plant Journal article I wrote recently.

His first sentence in greeting us was, “There’s nothing blooming now.”

It’s funny how using a film camera makes the image itself look older. The texture and colors in this image seem so different than the bright and flat images I am now accustomed to seeing with digital images. In the next days, I’ll put up more images from this first roll.

Forest house flanked by modern stucco and “twin tower” high rise

毎日この森の家をすごいと思います。隣の漆喰の家がつまらなく見えます。通りの向こうには伝統的な日本庭園があります。背景に、新しい中野のマンション「ツインタワー」が見えます。

I like how unlike the “forest” house and its bare stucco neighbor are. Across the street are a few traditional Japanese gardens. At the end of the road is the new, supposedly sold-out, twin tower high rise near Nakano JR station. I like the contrast in shapes and styles, and also in the intensity of human effort versus bio-organic growth.

Winter pond reflects landscape and sky in Shinjuku Gyoen

寒い日でも、新宿御苑を歩くことは楽しいです。落葉した桜の枝も池に映った逆さまの景色も冬の風景です。

Even on the briskest cold days, it’s such a pleasure to cross Shinjuku Gyoen. The bare cherry tree in the foreground, reflections, and upside down landscape and sky are dazzling on a clear day.

Quince buds on bare shrub with rotten fruit on ground

カリンのつぼみは真っ赤です。地面に腐った果物が見えます。外国では、カリンは普通、果物がなくて、装飾だけです。

I love the deep blood red of this quince bud. Quince is called カリン (karin) in Japanese. In the background, you can see two chartreuse fruit fallen on the ground. Tokyo quince is not just decorative.

Four mature trees growing in 25 centimeters of earth outside Nishi Azabu home

二十五センチぐらいのスペースに、高くてかっこいい庭になりました。大好きです。

I love how this Nishi Azabu corner house has maybe 25 centimeters of space and a three-story tall garden of mature trees and bushes. The deciduous trees provide summer shade, and in winter the bare branches have a different appeal.

Sterile corporate landscape lights up briefly in fall

なぜ、企業のランドスケープはこんなに想像力がないのでしょうか。生活を表現していますけれど、ほとんど生命がありません。それでも、短い間、この並んでいるモミジはきれいになります。

In contrast to yesterday’s photo, here is a small row of maples, in full fall glory, lined up behind a corporate building on Road 246 in Aoyama. Corporate landscapes often look sterile and bare. This is all the more ironic since their purpose is to present the appearance of life.

This one seems all the more lacking because it borders the lush mix of garden and wildness surrounding the 1960s Aoyama danchi housing project. For a brief moment in fall, these trees are looking their best.

Fall foliage in bonsai

Suddenly the ten or so leaves on our maple bonsai have turned red. The leaves are a rust shade, and the stems cherry red. Soon the little tree, bought at Sinajina during the summer, will be bare for the winter. Just a week ago, the tree was just starting to turn red, in the stems and in flecks on the leaves.