Mini

Mini red pepper grown on balcony and set in bonsai pot

この赤唐辛子は大きくてならなかったけれど、盆栽の植木鉢に、サイズは完璧です。

I was a little sad that this red pepper never grew past mini-size. But its the perfect size for this bonsai pot that I also use for air plants.

Mini gerber makes loud cheer

もう一つ、植物の室内撮影。このミニガーベラはとても派手ですね。たくさん化学肥料を使っているからかもしれません。ホームセンターにはそんな植物が多いです。短い茎は異常で、このピンクと白色のガーベラは人工的です。人工的に育てられた花と手作りの陶芸を組み合わせるのはかっこいいと思います。

More indoor plant portrait photography.

I love how this short stemmed pink-and-white gerber is so loud. It seems super-charged with fertilizers, which seems likely since I bought it at Shimachu, a “DIY” home center in Nakano. I like the prices and the proximity, although I consider many of their plants more on the human side of the nature continuum.

In winter, it seems like some of the filler and seasonal color I bought there is lasting a long time. And I think there’s a perverse balance in combining factory-produced plants with hand-made ceramic.

Mini apples in flower arrangement

あなたの近所の花屋はミニりんごを売っていますか。楽しいと思っています。東京でよく見ます。この壁の花瓶を史火陶芸教室で作りました。

Does your local florist include mini-apples in their arrangements? It’s very common now in Tokyo, and I think it adds a fun element. This wall vase I made at Shiho ceramic studio.

Mini sunflower in hand-made ceramic

手作りの植木鉢に入れたミニ・サンフラワーの写真を撮りました。友達の @cpalmieriの高度なカメラを借りて、最後のブログはLumix GF2を使いました。東京グリーン・スペースのプロジェクトのおかげで、写真への興味が深まりました。

I took some night and day shots of this mini sunflower inside a hand-made flowerpot in order to try out a more advanced camera. Plenty of close-ups had poor focus, light balance, and other problems of my making. Frankly the sophisticated camera’s Japanese language menu was overwhelming, but I like how these two images turned out.

Two weeks ago my friend @cpalmieri lent me his Panasonic Lumix GF-2, one of the smallest DSLR cameras. Usually I use a Canon S90, and when I’ve forgotten it, sometimes my iPhone. The S90 has great low light sensitivity, it’s small, and I am not too concerned about dinging it.

But this project is making me more and more interested in photography, so perhaps a DSLR is in the future. It was fun to pose a plant and to experiment with different types of lighting; I think the most successful was bouncing the LED desk light off the white wall.

A few friends asked if I grew the sunflower. No, I purchased it for 150 yen (2$ US) from a big box garden store. It last one week, and now it’s going to seed.

Mini farm on concrete pad with plastic sacks

都市の中で食べ物を育てて、庭を持つことは無理だと思う人が多いです。東大の近くで、素晴らしいミニ農園を見つけました。コンクリートの受け台 の上です。植木鉢はビニール袋 で作られています。ところで、日本で夏にイチゴを買うことができません。ルバーブと一緒に煮たいなら、自分で育てなければなりません。

So many people think they can’t grow food or have a garden in the city. Near the University of Tokyo, I spotted this amazing mini-farm on a concrete pad. I love how they are using recycled and simple materials, like plastic sacks as container pots. It seems mostly cherry tomatoes, bitter melon, and shiso, with some incredible hand-made supports.

Speaking of growing your own, my mother in law was talking about cooking with rhubarb, and I naturally suggested strawberries. Apparently it is very difficult to find commercial strawberries in summer in Japan because it’s become known as a new year fruit. It seems like there’s an opportunity there for some local summer strawberries without the hothouses.