frost

Snow piled up on balcony flowers, but everything survived storm

carnations_snow
雪がベランダの花と野菜の上に積もったけれど、皆、負けませんでした。

Last month, the snow covered the balcony plants. Somehow all the flowers and vegetables survived this heavy snow.

Azaleas blooming on a wet spring day

春の雨の中でツツジが咲いている。この花は東京にも私の出身地にもよく咲きます。

This azalea is blooming in two colors on a wet spring day. Azaleas remind me of the mid-Atlantic in the United States, as they are commonly planted with Japanese maples, rhododendron, and flowering cherry trees. The rhaphis palm that serves as a companion plant is better suited to Tokyo than the frost-prone mid-Atlantic. In Tokyo, azaleas are often planted in low hedges alongside boulevards, as well as in traditional and small residential gardens.

Intoxicating night scent of Angel’s Trumpet

Leaving an inspiring talk in Nishi Azabu-Juban yesterday evening, the intoxicating scent of Angel’s Trumpet made me pause. And take a photo.

Brugmansia is also very common in San Francisco (and many continents including New Zealand), although it comes originally from South America. It produces an incredible scent, but only at night. In Tokyo, the summer heat seems to overwhelm the plant. By fall, this hardy large shrub/small tree grows to three or four meters in height, and flowers continuously until winter frost makes them die back. By May they begin to shoot up from the ground.

Angel’s Trumpet, sometimes also called Devil’s Trumpet, is a strangely familiar plant: hardy and decorative, with a shamanistic function in its native Amazon habitat.