Plant

Planning a small garden at a new house in Nakano

nakano_new_house_landscaping
駅の途中、最近できた家の外に、小さな庭を作るようです。楽しみです。

I was so happy to see that the new neighbors are putting in a small garden. They built their house on a lot that used to have weeds and summer-time bats, after holding a Shinto ceremony. I am excited to see what they plant.

Snap pea seedlings grow in biodegradable paper starter pots

snap_peas_nakano_balcony

小さなプランターにスナックエンドウの種をまきました。このプランターは土のなかで生物分解します。環境にいいです。苗が大きくなったら、ベランダの庭全体に植える予定です。

When the seedlings get a little bigger, I’ll plant them everywhere on the balcony garden.

Small potted plants on bamboo bench in Golden Gai

flowerpots_goldengai_mornin
ゴールデン街の朝、竹ベンチの上に、きれいな植木鉢が見えます。
It was fun to visit Golden Gai during the morning, with all the micro-bars closed and few people around. I love the well-kept potted plants on this bamboo bench.

Can you spot the tiny cucumber taking shape?

小さいキュウリが見えますか。グリーンカーテンにぴったりの植物だと思います。

Cucumbers grow quickly, and they are easy to attach to the green curtain.

Pop-up plant and flower shop in Shibaura

このきれいな花屋は芝浦の空き地を利用しています。私だけじゃなくて、自転車を使って植物を買っている客が他にもいます。

I like how this flower and plant shop occupies this empty lot on a Shibaura side street. It’s also nice to see that others use their bikes for plant shopping.

Winter decorative cabbage in flower ceramic

もう一つ、植物の室内撮影。ハボタンは東京の冬に育ちやすいです。この小さい紫のキャベツと花のデザインの陶芸を組み合わせるのがおもしろいと思います。

Still more indoor plant portrait photography.

Another plant that usually lives outside in the balcony garden, decorative cabbage is great for winter color. I also like how the purple leaves and mini trunk combine with the flower design of the ceramic. In San Francisco, raccoons ate our decorative cabbage the first night we brought them home. The next day two raccoons knocked on the backdoor with a hungry look on their faces.

Another gerber hybrid

ガーベラの雑種をもう一つ。植物の室内撮影をもう一つ。

こんなに細かく刻まれた花びらを見たことがありませんでした。東京の冬のベランダで育っています。

Another gerber hybrid. More indoor plant portrait photography.

I’d never before seen a gerber with shredded petals. Another lovely winter flower in Tokyo.

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.

Another bonsai transformed in winter

もう一つ、植物の室内撮影。去年作った変わった盆栽は紅葉で色づいています。今、深紅の枝が三つ残っています。部屋のなか以外に置く時は、台所の窓の近くに置きます。

More indoor plant portrait photography.

I made this strange bonsai last summer with a small bi-colored grass, tall leafy tree, and gravel. It’s fun to watch the leaves turn deep red and fall. When it’s not inside, this plant is close to the kitchen window.

Bromeliads add easy indoor color in winter

もう一つ、植物の室内撮影。アナナスが大好きです。簡単に自然の色を室内に添えてくれます。長いあいだ持ちます。冬にはとても素敵だと思います。

More indoor plant portrait photography.

I like bromeliads, which brings color indoors easily. This one still looks good after I bought it in November. They are especially lovely in winter. The white ceramic I made at Shiho ceramic studio.

Bonsai shedding leaves

冬の日光は、室内で植物を撮影するのにいいと思います。

ベランダの庭には、植木鉢が多いです。ですから、室内に持って来るのが簡単です。一つの植物はお客さんを接待するときに使えますし、気分を変えてくれます。盆栽は一番持ち運びがよくて、いくつかの要素が小さな世界を作ってくれます。

The winter sunlight is particularly good for indoor plant portrait photography.

Bonsais are the ultimate in portable and creating an entire, changing world with few elements. Part of gardening involves the overall effect of dozens or hundreds of plants. But part is also the specific plant and season.

As a balcony gardener using containers, I have many small plants that are especially portable. A single indoor plant can welcome a guest or create a mood.

Making coleus starter plants using coconut soil

赤い色のコリウスの形が変になったので、剪定したり、根を成長させたり、挿し木を植えたりしました。再植林のように、ネットに入ったココナッツからできた土を使いました。英語で、この小さいタイプの植物をスターター植物と言います。早く育ったら、来月の陶芸生徒展覧会に使います。

I have this red coleus plant that got leggy, so I cut it back and rooted the extra pieces. Now I am hoping to make a half dozen starter plants using the coconut soil that comes wrapped in string nets. I recycled two containers to hold the starter plants.

Valued by US preppies, hosta seems ignored in Tokyo

ホスタはアジアの植物だけど、アメリカではもっと人気。アメリカ人にとって、ホスタは上品な輸入品の高価な気分があります。東京の中では、あまりそう見えないですが。育てやすいし、素敵だと思います。

Although hosta is an Asian plant, it’s more popular in America. For Americans, hostal is a very elegant import and expensive feeling. I associate it with upper class neighborhoods in New York City and elsewhere in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. You hardly see it in Tokyo. It’s easy to grow and very attractive I think.

Lovely sidewalk garden at Kichijoji plant store

花屋さんが世話をした歩道の庭は日本的で、同時に国際的です。最近、ブドウが熟して、オーナーと一緒にブドウを2つ食べたところです。日本的なところは、たとえば、カンノンチクという椰子と松があります。お店は、もうすぐ吉祥寺のちがう場所へ引っ越します。次の歩道の庭が楽しみです。

My favorite Kichijoji plant store is moving soon. I have long admired the owner’s meticulous sidewalk garden, full of surprises. Here are perfect grapes, two of which we have just eaten. The garden is a long narrow strip with some more plants in a light well and the stairway to the lower level entrance.

I like the mix of exotics like grapes, with traditional Japanese plants like pine and raphis palm, plus ferns, cactuses, and so many more plant types. The incredible variety of plants and the impeccable maintenance show off the gardener’s skills and wide interests.

More photos after the jump.

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