Archive for December, 2014


2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Summer and autumn

Work dominated this period and I was unable to post over the past few months. I hope to make up for it through this and subsequent posts.

Firstly, the water melon in planter raised my spirits initially but brought me down with a thump!


Water-melon in planter

It grew well and I rigged up supports and a plastic sheet to support the water melon. Unfortunately I made a small mistake – I did not cut a hole in the plastic sheet! I remembered this and rushed into my garden at night because rain had fallen that day. I was too late – see the photo below.



Water had already accumulated and the bottom had become rotten. Lesson learnt – never forget nature. It can rain any time and make sure you protect your plant well.

I cut out the offending part; the melon was developing into a nice pink color. I removed the seeds and had preserved them for the next year. Another lesson I learned is that although three to five flowers developed into fruit, you can probably grown only one melon in a planter since all the nutrition will taken up by the growing melon. Ah well, there’s always next year and better sense will prevail.

Let me run through summer’s offerings quickly.


Eggplant, tomatoes, and green pepper

I had a good harvest of tomatoes and eggplants last summer, but green pepper was/is extraordinary. Although it is 10 degrees Celsius outside, the green pepper plants are still thriving. I picked about eight or so yesterday and don’t have the heart to pull them up and dispose of them.

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Formosa Lily and Wisteria

The Formosa Lily turned up unattended at various locations around my house (this one is at the entrance). I picked up hundreds of seeds, and am waiting to try them out in India next year.  I love the Wisteria too, with its delicate fragrance. I have two small Wisteria trees in my garden; though the flowers look good, the leaves grow so furiously during the growing season that you need to trim them almost every day; else they will take over the garden.


Hosta or Plantain Lily (called Giboshi in Japanese)

The Hosta with decorative green leaves and bunches of white flowers were in abundance too. The tomato plant in front is in a planter. I have two varieties of Hosta planted in the same bed. The other variety has colorful foliage.


Morning Glory

The Morning Glory flowers grew all over the fence. I am afraid they dropped seeds into my neighbors’ gardens and they should have plenty of morning glory plants next summer – I’m not sure whether they’ll be pleased or displeased.



My fig tree gave me great joy this year. I must have harvested about 25-30 delicious figs through autumn this year. I had to cut a lot of the branches since my garden is quite compact; in the process, I must have reduced the harvest.

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Ginger Lily

My favorite summer flower is the Ginger Lily. The fragrance, especially when the wind blows on summer nights is, divine. I plan to dig up some roots and give them to several of my friends. I have already planted them in about three places around my house. They just keep multiplying!



My friend, Toyama-san, gave me a potted Hibiscus in summer. It gave a pretty nice flower; the season for this plant is short. I moved it inside the house as soon as the weather turned cold. I‘m hoping it will survive the winter in Japan.

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Red Spider Lily (Higanbana in Japanese) and Sweet Olive (Kinmokusei in Japanese)

These flaming red flowers grow only in a particular time of the year in Japan; they are found planted near graveyards. They plant them on graves because it shows a tribute to the dead. The bulbs are considered poisonous and keep away pests.

The Sweet Olive tree on the right side blooms with bunches of golden flowers and gives off a fragrant smell. This is probably the largest tree in my garden. You can also see the Rose of Sharon (pink flowers) to the left side of this tree.


Japanese anemone (shumeigiku in Japanese)

These pink flowers grow on long thin stems and sway gently in the air. I have had these for more than 8 years now. They bloom dutifully every year without needing much care.


Toad lily

Here are a bunch of toad lily plants that prospered in autumn. The individual flowers are very colorful and good to look at. The plants do multiply and spread very fast every year; so I need to remove the excess and control their growth every year.

That’s all for this post, folks! Have a great day!


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December 2014