Manhattan has not yet been completely re-made with glassy new high rises and frat boys

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Manhattan is mostly unrecognizable from when I first visited in the 1970s as a child: the streetscape, the people, the sense of creativity and excitement are all different. I was relieved to see this neon-clad, “handmade” cigar shop wedged between patrol car and “reasonable rates” tax preparer.

Fire-colored African daisies on Tokyo balcony


African daisies on Tokyo balcony. This is the largest of the handmade ceramic pots I have made at Shiho studio.

True horticulturalists like rare plants, or specialize in specific species. And garden snobs often like a constrained palette. For my own garden, I like a lot of color and don’t mind the most ordinary plants if they are colorful and hardy.

Still dormant persimmon bonsai on Tokyo balcony. Enjoying plants involves waiting.


My balcony garden is starting to perk up for spring, but this persimmon bonsai is still dormant. I remember the day I brought it back two years ago. My neighbor asked me what I have, and then gave me a sad look. “You know it takes eight years for persimmons to fruit, don’t you?” she asked me. I am more patient than I look.

Mini-daisies in ceramic pot on Tokyo balcony: white


White mini-daisies on Tokyo balcony. Handmade ceramic pots, all made at Shiho studio. In the background are tulips and succulents. I like mixing up things.

Mini-daisies in ceramic pot on Tokyo balcony: pink and yellow


Pink and yellow mini-daisies on Tokyo balcony. Handmade ceramic pot, made at Shiho studio.