Kyodo

Sun lit mansion on way to Nodai campus

oldhouse_largegarden_kyodo

経堂駅と農大のあいだに、まだいくつかの古い家や大きい庭や成木が残っています。学生の茶色の髪と木の塀がうまく合っています。

Between Kyodo station and Nodai’s campus, a few old mansions remain with large yards and mature trees. The bicycling student’s brown hair matches the wood fence.

Balloon vine is a fun summer climber

経堂駅から農大に行く途中で、面白い庭がある家をいつも観察します。去年は色々なアサガオが育っていました。今は、背の高いフウセンカズラがたくさんの緑とオレンジ色の実を見せてくれています。私たちのベランダにもこの夏のつる草があります。

On the long walk from Kyodo station to Nodai (Tokyo University of Agriculture), there’s a house and large garden where the residents are always gardening. This year they created a huge, two meter high trellis of fusenkazura (フウセンカズラ). The name is literally balloon kudzu, and despite looking delicate, it’s very hardy. The vine produces lots of white flowers, followed by a multitude of green balls that then turn orange. This year, I’m growing two specimens on our balcony.

Late fall trees

Leaving Nodai one December day, I was struck by the bright yellow color of this ginko tree, and how it dwarfs the small street. This is the main street connecting Nodai with the Odakyu line, and the numbers of pedestrians and bicyclists far outnumber cars.

Much of Nodai’s built enviornment are 1950s Bauhaus-style six story buildings, including the one in our lab, with some newer buildings also. Outside of the library is a beautiful quad with old trees that give you a sense of the age and history of this Meiji era campus.

It was raining last Friday when I came for the Garden Lab bonenkai, or end of year party. In the middle of winter, Tokyo is very dry so I am trying to enjoy the last rain.

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Bitter melon green curtain

Bitter melon green curtain

On my way to the Kyodo train station from Nodai, my Research Fellow colleague noticed a two-story bitter melon green curtain. We were impressed by how full it is, how tidy and well trained. There were a number of large bitter melons on the vines. Bitter melon is certainly hardy, and the whole large vegetable garden is growing out of two medium sized plastic tubs, and taking up minimal space in the car park area of someone’s home.

Bitter melon green curtain