early summer

The green curtain becomes covered with vines quickly

green_curtain_early_summer

梅雨の蒸し暑い天気のおかげで、つる植物がベランダのグリーンカーテンを早く覆っています。今、三種類のクレマチス、琉球朝顔、フウセンカズラ、バラがあります。

The warm, humid weather has jump-started the green curtain. So far, there’s three types of clematis, Okinawa morning glory, fusenkazura (balloon vine), and a climbing rose.

Is kanamemochi Tokyo’s best hedge?

kananemochi_may_balcony_nakano

普通の植物が好きで、いつも近所の庭に注目しています。東京で簡単に育つカナメモチという木は一番好きな垣根です。春に赤色の若葉が出て、きれいです。植木鉢でも地面でも、速く大きくなります。僕のベランダに一つあって、手仕事屋久家の庭にもあります。

Unlike real horticulturalists, I enjoy planting common plants that I’ve seen in my neighbors’ gardens. This year I am convinced that Kanamemochi (Photina) is Tokyo’s best hedge. In spring the new leaves are a beautiful deep red color. Whether in a pot or in the ground, this member of the rose family, related to apple trees, grows quickly, thickly, and can be shaped easily. I have one hiding my washing machine and providing evergreen privacy between my kitchen and the neighbors outside my window. I also planted one at Kuge Crafts in order to provide separation from a pesky neighbor. Very quickly, that single plant is growing wide and creating a living fence.

kananemochi_redleaves_balcony_nakano

Iconic New York City human landscapes

ニューヨークの人類風景は珍しくて古いです。いつもうるさくて攻撃的なのに、さまざまな人たちがいて、それぞれのスタイルがあります。86番ストリートとレキシントン通りの地下鉄のホームと歩道の果物売りです。

I took both of these photos on 86th Street near Lexington. This sidewalk fruit stand, an elderly customer and her home health aide, seems very iconic of New York City in the summer.

Below on the subway platform, I like how well put together the ladies in early summer, before the heat and humidity take their toll. The contrast between their careful appearances and the decades of subway grime is also very New York City.