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Single yellow tulip in red tulip bed, Park Avenue, New York City

red_tulips_yellow_parkavenue_median_spring
たくさんの赤色のチューリップのあいだに、黄色のチューリップが一つ咲いています。ニューヨークのパークアベニューで。

Visiting New York City the last week of April, everything was in bloom, and tulips seem especially popular this year. I love how on Park Avenue the beds of red tulips have random yellow tulips breaking the conformity.

Hand cranked, shaved ice is an old fashioned summer treat

かき氷が美味しいです。手動クランクは昔の気分がして、かっこいです。

Shaved ice is a popular summer treat. I like this hand-cranked model. The ice is shining like a giant jewel.

Roof top garden at new Omotesando Tokyu mall is much livelier than I expected

新しい屋上の庭はいいデザインで、大きい木があって、いい気持ちです。もうたくさんの人がこの場所を見つけたようです。表参道の東急モールです。

The rooftop garden of the new Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku mall, the one with the fun house, crazy mirror escalator entrance, it is much more lively than I expected. On a nice day, it draws a large crowd to relax and chat in the shade. I am impressed with the generously tall size of the trees, the irregular openings of the deck for plantings, and the many levels that provide seating and variation. The roof garden is partly visible from the sidewalk, unlike the older department store roof gardens, and forms part of the architecture of the building. Perhaps that’s why it’s more discoverable and popular.

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.

My first Tokyo balcony blueberry

はじめてのブルーベリーです。ベランダで育っています。去年も今年も、東京のあちこちでブルーベリーが売られているのを見ました。

This is my first balcony blueberry. Since last year, I have noticed more blueberry plants for sale in Tokyo, from home centers to neighborhood flower and plant shops. I am eager to see how easy it is to grow them in Tokyo, especially in my balcony container garden.

Okra is a popular alley plant

This is the second okra plant I have spotted along the small street leading from my apartment to the JR station. I was impressed with how beautiful its flower is. In the background is a climbing bitter melon vine, and a dog house. The “yard” is paved, so all the plants are in pots.

Japanese wine

Japanese wine

Inside the upscale Shin Marunouchi office tower, I saw a poster for Japanese wine outside an Italian restaurant. Japanese have recently become very interested in wine, and I had heard about a famous manga introducing wine to new drinkers that had been translated into French and become popular. It was interesting to see the promotion of national wine.

Japanese wine

 

Community vegetable garden in Shimo Takaido

Community vegetable garden in Shimo Takaido

On my way to a house-warming party last weekend, I passed this large and very full community vegetable garden in Shimo Takaido, near the Kami-Kitazawa station. I have not seen many of these in Tokyo, yet this large plot seems very popular and intensively planted. It would be great to get a tour of this community garden, and to find others.

Community vegetable garden in Shimo Takaido