I took this photo a month ago, and our balcony garden is now even more lush. It’s amazing how much incredible heat and daily watering can increase bio-mass!
It’s amazing what you can fit in a sunny narrow space. I have six mini-watermelons ripening on the railing and green net, three Saipan lemons, two types of morning glory, the 5bai midori satoyama boxes bushing out, cucumbers still flowering and creating fast food, and some random flowers including mini-sunflowers, abutilon, and Suntory hybrids ミリオンベル (million bell) and アズーロコンパクト. Plus there’s basil, parsley, and thyme, all of which I put into my bolognese pasta lunch today.
The floor area is full with just enough room to walk through for watering. The vertical space is about half full with the net and some additional twine. I like how the old washing machine is nearly hidden by plants.
Some failures included corn, with tiny ears that formed and then turned brown. The rose which was so outrageously pumped up when purchased has hardly bloomed since. The incredible heat this month killed my first bonsai, a Japanese maple (もみじ) in a tiny pot.
Some surprises included the late growing bitter melon (ゴーヤー) now shooting up. I planted last year’s seed in April, and it hardly grew until about three weeks ago. Now it’s two meters tall, and perhaps will produce a few vegetables before typhoon season. Bitter melon tastes great with ground pork!
My friend Matthew, who now works at Sinajina, pruned my pine bonsai. Apparently now is the time to start thinking about shaping it and preparing it to look its most beautiful for the new year. I wonder how to keep my tiny garden green during winter.
The Saipan lemon tree I planted on my balcony last year is full of blowers: what a great scent, and hope for future lemons. I have been doing a lot of gardening now that the weather has gotten warmer: planting seedlings, buying vegetable starters, trying out a new coconut husk soil, purchasing a few large flowers and shrubs, and generally filling up the balcony with plants, flowers, and dreams. I’ll be posting more photos soon.
With cooler nights, fall is definitely upon us. I took these photos in the first week of November to document the passing of the seasons on our balcony garden. Above a dramatic sunset over Mt Fuji illuminates the very end of the morning glory green curtain. As you can see in the photo below, there are still many flowers, including cosmos, murasaki shikibu, cyclamen, geranium, fujibakama, a creamy daisy, and a few other annuals.
One of the satoyama unit‘s plant is flowering now, while some of the deciduous plants are dropping their leaves.
The black pine bonsai I assembled at Kobayashi Kenji Sensei’s class at Sinajina is doing well.
And we put the ojizō-sama made at the ceramic studio into one of the satoyama units.
More photos of fall plants, including lemon tree, ceramics, and more images of the satoyama units after the jump.
Seiwoooo’s Alban Mannisi, a landscape architect based in Tokyo, has created a future scenario dystopia in collage and narrative about the future of Saipan and the Pacific Ocean in 2048.
Mannisiimagines a world in which sustainability and massive waste create so much new reclaimed ocean land that Saipan becomes a hub of land traffic between Beijing, Tokyo and Osaka on one side, and Honolulu, Los Angeles and New York on the other.
The project’s aim is “to develop some critical views on the new trend of sustainability in urban planning and to stimulate the people involved to be more conscious of the possible outcomes that can be disastrous.”
Is this an antidote to the positive message of Tokyo’s Umi no Mori (or Sea Forest), or a worst-case dystopia?
I had the pleasure of meeting Mansini recently, and he shared these Tokyo and global urban architecture links with me:
-Funny weird Japanese architecture : Atelier bow Wow : Made in Tokyo
-Japanese landscape architecture company : Studio onsite
-An architect-Urban planner-Thinker and teacher at Waseda University SOUHEI IMAMURA/atelier imamu
-The best Landscape Arch mind: James Corner
-Netherlands Urbanism Review : MONU
More about Mannisi and Seiwoooo here.