bonsai

My smallest fruit tree

persimmon_bonsai_balcony

東京の小さなベランダで、色々なフルーツの木を育てています。イチジクやバナナやオリーブがあります。一番ちっちゃなのは盆栽の柿の木です。去年もこの盆栽の柿の写真を載せました

On my Tokyo balcony, I am growing fig, olive, banana, and this persimmon bonsai. It’s my smallest. I took photos of it last year at the same time.

Air plants in small containers sit on widow box

airplant_bonsai_shu_drawing_windowbench_home

窓際においたベンチの上の小さな植木鉢の中で、エアプラントが元気そうです。右は、手仕事屋久家でぼくが作った盆栽の植木鉢です。左は、衆生の猫の絵です。

Easy to move around, the tiny scale of air plants are a perfect fit for a Tokyo apartment. I made the bonsai pots on the right at Kuge Crafts. The cat drawing on the left is by Shu.

airplant_shu_drawing_home

Persimmon bonsai in two stages: new leaf, and early summer

leafingout_persimmon_bonsai_Nakano_balcony
この柿の盆栽の世話をするのは簡単です。今年は円形に枝を曲げました。

This persimmon bonsai has been very easy to care for, and this year I’ve pulled two branches down to the base of the trunk, creating a circular shape. Above is how it looks now at the verge of summer. Below, new leaves pushing out in March.

new_leaves_persimmon_bonsai_Nakano_balcony

Have you seen this cactus bonsai shop in Tokyo?

qusamura_cactus_bonsai_shop

サボテンの盆栽をはじめて見ました。AQというユーザー・エクスペリエンス(UX)の会社の友だちは、Qusamuraのきれいなデザインが大好きだそうです。

My friends at AQ, a Tokyo user experience agency, are big fans of Qusamura’s cactus bonsai. Lovely design.

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.

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.

Owner’s bonsai decorates Omotesando Koffee rustic cafe

この素敵な盆栽はOmotesando Koffeeのオーナが作った作品です。コケが特に元気そうです。表参道に来た時はいつもこの美味しいコーヒーを飲んで、昭和モダンふうのインテリアと庭を楽しみながら、バリスタと話して行きます。

This beautiful bonsai was decorating the very chic Omotesando Koffee shop. The cafe is a modern cube inside a Showa house with a cozy front garden. The very cheerful barista explained that the owner made this bonsai himself. I like how the bonsai looks next to the cappuccino and the aged wood of the house and cupboard. The moss is especially lush and lovely.

Plum bonsai in tiny but abundant home garden

梅の木の盆栽が小さくて豊富な庭に置かれました。中野駅の途中にあります。植木屋さんは季節と植物をよく知っています。植物が植木鉢で育っているので、いろいろな楽しみのために移動しやすいです。

This plum bonsai is part of a tiny but incredibly abundant garden also on the way to Nakano station. This gardener clearly knows about plants and seasons. Because almost all his plants are in pots, they can be moved around for maximum enjoyment.

Another bonsai transformed in winter

もう一つ、植物の室内撮影。去年作った変わった盆栽は紅葉で色づいています。今、深紅の枝が三つ残っています。部屋のなか以外に置く時は、台所の窓の近くに置きます。

More indoor plant portrait photography.

I made this strange bonsai last summer with a small bi-colored grass, tall leafy tree, and gravel. It’s fun to watch the leaves turn deep red and fall. When it’s not inside, this plant is close to the kitchen window.

Bonsai shedding leaves

冬の日光は、室内で植物を撮影するのにいいと思います。

ベランダの庭には、植木鉢が多いです。ですから、室内に持って来るのが簡単です。一つの植物はお客さんを接待するときに使えますし、気分を変えてくれます。盆栽は一番持ち運びがよくて、いくつかの要素が小さな世界を作ってくれます。

The winter sunlight is particularly good for indoor plant portrait photography.

Bonsais are the ultimate in portable and creating an entire, changing world with few elements. Part of gardening involves the overall effect of dozens or hundreds of plants. But part is also the specific plant and season.

As a balcony gardener using containers, I have many small plants that are especially portable. A single indoor plant can welcome a guest or create a mood.

Ceramic flowerpots at Shiho student show

この写真は史火陶芸教室の展示会です。盆栽植木鉢と普通の植木鉢と壁用の花瓶を発表しました。黒粘土と赤粘土の上にかけた白い釉薬が好きです。自然で中間色だからです。来年、もっとエアプラントを入れた小さな植木鉢を作りたいです。

These photos are from the Shiho ceramic show last month. I exhibited bonsai pots, regular pots, and wall vases. I like white glaze on black and red clay because it seems earthy and neutral. Next year I want to make more bonsai pots, and use them with air plants.

Air plants in bonsai pots

エアプラントと盆栽の陶芸の組み合わせ はどうでしょう? 史火陶芸教室の展示会のために、いろいろ盆栽用の陶芸を準備しました。不思議な組み合わせですけど、エアプラントの形と遠い起源を考えると楽しいです。さらに取り出しやすいので、鉢をよく見ることができます。

Preparing for the Shiho student show last month, I wondered how to show off the bonsai pots I made this year. I tried one with only gravel, and another with a tiny succulent. My favorite is perhaps the oddest combination: air plants. I like their shapes and their distant origins in a different climate. And I like how you can easily take them out and examine the pot. What do you think about this combination?

Pomegranate also grows well in Tokyo

ザクロも東京で育つことができます。もともと中央アジアのペルシアから来て、地中海地方で人気です。酸っぱくて柔らかいの種が美味しいです。東京では、だれもこの木の果物を食べないから、鳥はうれしいだろう。たまに小さなザクロを盆栽に使っています。

Native to Persia (what is now Iran), pomegranates remind me of the Mediterranean. I was surprised to see a neighbor’s pomegranate tree full of fruit. I guess the neighbor is not eating them, since they are bursting open. The birds are probably happy to eat the delicious seeds, and then distribute them as they travel.

Last year I also took photos of neighborhood fruit trees, including a miniature pomegranate. There are special varieties used in bonsai making.

Potting plants for Shiho student ceramic show

今日は史火陶芸教室の展示会の準備をします。どんな植物がいろいろな植木鉢と似合うだろう。着生植物や季節の花と紫キャベツを使おうと思っています。土曜日から展覧会が始まります。写真は、最後の植木鉢の釉がけ前のです。

Today I am potting up plants and getting my flowerpots ready for the Shiho student ceramic show. Above are the last two larger flower pots. When I go to the studio today, I’ll see how they look after being glazed and baked.

The one with the holes can be used with a candle, or you can place a plant inside that you’ve bought at the nursery in its original plastic pot. I like that it’s lighter weight, transparent, and easy to swap plants in and out.

I am also showing small pots and smaller bonsai pots. I have an idea for untraditional bonsai plantings, including air plants that can be removed so you can see the whole ceramic pot. For the larger pots, I’ll try to mix seasonal flowers, purple leafed cabbage, and some of the plants Matthew left in the back garden.

The show starts this Saturday and runs for five days. I’ll be at the gallery on Saturday from  3ish to 7, on Sunday from 5 to 7, and sometime next week depending on my work schedule.