early

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

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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.

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Wilted morning glory in afternoon sunshine

朝早くに、琉球アサガオの濃い青色の花がたくさん咲いています。昼には、しおれて花がピンクになります。これはフィルムの写真です。

Early in the day, this Okinawa morning glory is a deep blue with lots of large blooms. I like how by afternoon, the flowers turn pink as they wilt.

Early cherry blossoms across parking lot in Shibuya. Showa house and mature tree dwarfed by newer buildings.

駐車場のおかげで、裏庭の桜が見えます。この辺りに、最後の昭和時代の自宅と庭なのです。渋谷のNHK本社の近くです。

Because of this parking lot, the result of another building torn down, you can see into the back garden of a Showa house in Shibuya, not far from NHK’s headquarters. The two story house is the last remnant of the older neighborhood that was replaced starting in the 1970s with taller, mixed use buildings. I’m glad this early blooming cherry tree has survived until now. It was a pleasant surprise after a Barbados lunch with @a_small_lab and @jessmantell.

Cherry madness starts early in Shinjuku Gyoen

Today was a gloriously sunny day with a warm breeze, and I found myself in Shinjuku Gyoen. Plenty of young families sprawled out on the lawn, with small kids playing ball. There’s a glorious magnolia pair near the entrance, but already the senior citizen, photo hobbyists brought out the big equipment to take photos of the early cherry trees.

Did you know that Shinjuku Gyoen has twelve species of cherry? And that they bloom from late February into mid April? There’s a very educational chart. I believe the one above is Prunus x kanzakura (カンザクラ、寒桜). If so, it’s about one to two weeks behind the schedule.

Not sure if I will be brave enough to return to Shinjuku Gyoen during peak cherry season when literally millions of people fill the park. Here’s my favorite photo from last year’s cherry season: a salaryman perched precariously on the Imperial Palace moat’s rail to snap a photo with his cellphone.

What’s your favorite place for cherry blossom viewing? Famous spots or neighborhood spots? What’s the most unlikely place you’ve seen cherry madness?