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.
This kintsugi pot adds a bright metallic shine to the balcony garden. Here I’ve planted this long-blooming flower. I like the pink-red flowers, which have bloomed for months. Kintsugi, which is the decorative repair of usually old pottery, is a specialty of my teacher at Shiho ceramic studio.
I don’t know the name of this plant, and frankly bought it as “filler.” The husband thinks that “filler” is a harsh name, but don’t most gardens also rely on having a few plants purchased for their immediate appeal with minimal money and thought? Since it’s thrived so long, I should probably learn its name.
Update: The Japanese name is Seroshia (セロシア), and it’s called Celosia argentea, plumed cockscomb, and Prince of Wales Feathers and Flamingo Feathers.
I like how this pine tree is starting to fill out. It was hard pruned for winter, which allows more sunlight into the apartments. By summer it provided thick shade. Somehow this dubious security camera adds to the charm of this very orderly tree.
This Harajuku residential buidling is bordered by tall bamboo and covered in a thick vine. I posted a photo of this building last summer shaded in dense green foliage. Now it’s turned red in early winter, and the contrast is very pleasing.
In the heat of summer, Karuizawa remains cool and elegant. We found a moss forest, streams, and a small lake. It is just an hour from Tokyo by bullet train, and easy to rent a bike near the station. We passed many tennis courts, but did not meet any royalty. By accident, we met the charming proprietress of a coffee shop frequented by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1977.
I love this tiny lane in Nakano Fujimichou that extends two blocks between a larger building and a series of small residences. The proportion of pavement seems just right: soil, pavement, soil in almost equal thirds. The lane serves as access to residences, bicycle storage, laundry drying, garden, and public passageway.
I wonder if the land is officially part of the ward or the residences. In any case, I imagine that it is the residents who maintain it and set informal rules about usage. The charm of this type of small semi-public semi-private space seems impossible to create by government planners or real estate developers.