decorative

A closer view of decorative grass on Tokyo balcony

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小さな植木鉢の草がもっと詳しく見えます。色と動きがあって、大好きです。

The color and movement of this grass growing in a small flowerpot are very enjoyable.

Maritime shipping company has been operating for decades in this pre-Bubble office

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芝浦にある海運送会社です。バウハウスのような簡潔さがあるので、バブルの何年も前に建てられたと思います。濃い青色の陶器タイルは空に似合います。

The Bauhaus-like architectural simplicity and the decorative ceramic tiles mark this commercial building as product of postwar industry and trade, long before the excess of the Bubble. It’s lovely to see maritime companies that have done business for decades still exist along Tokyo’s waterfront.

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.

Bare cherry tree casts a decorative shadow on apartment building

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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.

Deep purple, decorative pepper offers flowers and fruits. Viewable from kitchen desk.

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ベランダの紫色の唐辛子には、フルーツも花もあります。台所の机から、見えます。

From my kitchen desk, I can see this lovely decorative pepper, that has purple fruits and flowers at the same time.

Blueberry bush with fruit for sale at Marunouchi flower shop

丸の内の花屋さんは、ブルーベリーの実のついた素敵な木を売っています。食用の植物は目を楽しませてくれます。

This gorgeous blueberry plant, full of perfect fruits, is being sold at Marunouchi flower shop. I love how it’s getting more common to use edibles as decorative landscape.

Sidewalk rice is decorative and brings a little country to the city

夏の歩道で稲を育てています。田舎の気分を都市で味わえます。

Growing rice in buckets on the sidewalk isn’t likely to put any rice farmers out of business. Still, it’s a lovely sight in Tokyo during the summer, and brings a country feeling into the hard-surfaced city.

Eggplant flowers break the dichotomy between edible and decorative

ベランダの植物に、食用と装飾との違いはありません。ナスの花がきれいです。この写真の中に、イチゴ、キュウリ、ブルーベリー、ロズーマリー、パセリが見えます。さらに、今年、オクラを育てています。花がきれいで、僕はオクラが嫌いですが、相方が大好きです。

There’s no contradiction between edible and decorative garden plants, especially on a small balcony. I love these purple and yellow eggplant flowers. Also in the frame are strawberries, cucumber, blueberries, rosemary, and parsley. This year I’m also growing okra, which I don’t like to eat. It’s a beautiful plant, and my husband will eat them.

Blueberry flowers make me think of summer fruit on balcony

今、ブルーベーリが東京のベランダで咲いています。ブルーベーリは観賞植物でも食用でもあります。花は夏にできるフルーツを想像させます。

Blueberries are blooming on my Tokyo balcony garden. I love how this bush is both decorative and edible. But mostly these flowers make me think of summer fruit.

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.

Winter citrus brightens cold days in Tokyo

東京に来たとき、柑橘類の木を見て驚きました。冬に果物が熟成しますが、寒すぎるのではないかと思いました。最初、このハッサクは食べれないと東京の人はみんな言いました。去年カナダ人の友だちが、閉鎖された公立学校の庭でハッサクを収穫して、商店街の人たちと一緒にマーマレードを作りました。装飾にも食用にもなります。

Freezing temperatures and icy streets are keeping me indoors. But I am always amazed at how much still grows in Tokyo’s winter months. The most spectacular and surprising is this large citrus called “hassaku.”

For years I believed general comments about how the fruit is too sour to eat. Then I participated last year in Edoble’s hassaku marmalade-making. This tree can be seen everywhere in Tokyo, so it must be well suited. I like how it’s both decorative and edible!

Winter decorative cabbage in flower ceramic

もう一つ、植物の室内撮影。ハボタンは東京の冬に育ちやすいです。この小さい紫のキャベツと花のデザインの陶芸を組み合わせるのがおもしろいと思います。

Still more indoor plant portrait photography.

Another plant that usually lives outside in the balcony garden, decorative cabbage is great for winter color. I also like how the purple leaves and mini trunk combine with the flower design of the ceramic. In San Francisco, raccoons ate our decorative cabbage the first night we brought them home. The next day two raccoons knocked on the backdoor with a hungry look on their faces.

Mini apples in flower arrangement

あなたの近所の花屋はミニりんごを売っていますか。楽しいと思っています。東京でよく見ます。この壁の花瓶を史火陶芸教室で作りました。

Does your local florist include mini-apples in their arrangements? It’s very common now in Tokyo, and I think it adds a fun element. This wall vase I made at Shiho ceramic studio.

Small flowerpots at Shiho student ceramic show

私の作った小さい植木鉢が史火陶芸教室の生徒展に出されます。砂の「化粧」をしてます。見に来てください。

Come see my small flowerpots at Shiho ceramic studio’s student exhibition. They are wearing makeup!

This is my third Shiho ceramic studio student art exhibit. This year I created four small flowerpots with saucers, and my friend Matthew Puntigam helped me with planting them. We used mostly succulents, an ornamental cabbage, and pansies to complement the design and signal the season. Matthew did an excellent job with plant composition, placement, and ornamental sand and rocks. He told me that Sinajina‘s Kobyashi sensei refers to the decorative sand and rocks as plant “makeup” (化粧).

The student exhibit is from today through Wednesday (Nov 20 to Nov 24) in Nishi Ogikubo. Please see the last image for a map. It’s three minutes walk south from the train station. If you’re planning on attending, please email or call me since I can’t be there during all the opening hours.