tropical

Echinacea, native to eastern and central North America, does fine in a flowerpot on sunny Tokyo balcony

echinacea_balcony

国連大学の前のファーマーズマーケットで、お店を出しているShokubutsu Freakの片山陽介さんから買ったエキナセアという植物は、北米からきました。東京の晴れたベランダにもきれい。この狭いベランダには、日本のアサガオや熱帯のバナナの木やオーリブの木があります。何でも試してみます。

I bought this flower from my friend Katayama Yosuke of Shokubutsu Freak at the UNU weekend farmers market. Its North American provenance mixes nicely with Japanese morning glory, tropical bananas, and an olive tree.

 

 

A tropical escape from Tokyo winter in Shinjuku Gyoen reflects park and clouds

new_greenhouse_shinjukugyoen

寒いときに、新宿御苑の新しい温室を勧めます。温室のなかで、熱帯の植物を楽しみながら、外の東京の風景を楽しめます。全部ガラス張りなので、外側に反射している風景もすてきです。

The best place to escape Tokyo’s winter is inside the new greenhouse in Shinjuku Gyoen. I love exploring all the tropical plants, and seeing the fall and winter park landscapes through the glass walls. From the outside, the building reflects the giant trees and clouds.

New greenhouse at Shinjuku Gyoen opens. A warm escape from winter.

新宿御苑に、新し温室が開けました。

An amazing, tropical place to spend a cold day. Yesterday, I enjoyed watching the park’s fall foliage through the enormous glass walls.

Like a brief tropical holiday at very low cost

寒いときには、温室に来るのが熱帯林への安い休暇みたいです。夢の島熱帯植物館を訪れました。戦後、たくさんのごみで作られた島です。外でパパイアの並木を見ました。この果物を東京で育てることができますか。

The same week I participated in the Umi no Mori tree planting, I had the opportunity to re-visit Yume no Shima, Tokyo’s most famous artificial island made of waste. This urban development started in the 1950s. Now it’s a vast area with a sports club, botanic garden, playing fields, semi-wild palm landscape, a marina, and a still functioning incinerator. It’s showing its age with deferred maintenance and sparse usage.

I love how it’s named “Dream Island.” This time I visited the botanic garden. On the outside is a row of papaya trees, which I thought too tropical to grow outdoors in Tokyo. There’s also a row of ceramic frog planters leading to the front door. A green house is a great place to go on a cold day, like a brief tropical holiday at very low cost.

Beautiful raphis palms outside of small shop

I love how this small shop on Shinjuku Dori has two beautiful raphis palms outside the storefront. They provide a lush and tropical look and partly obscure the air conditioning unit.  Tokyo has a surprising number of small shops throughout the city, and their owners seem more likely to take pride in their neighborhood and cultivate plants than big chain stores.