from my home garden

May to August are probably the busiest months while I’m in Japan. I have three simultaneous activities going on – office garden, home garden, bonsai and experimental projects. I’ll show you what has bloomed and grown in my home garden in this period.


Lily or yuri in Japanese

The roots are bulbs that can be removed after the flowering and stored in a cool place in the house to be brought back and planted in spring next year. I love flowers that grow from bulbs!


Rose (bara in Japanese) in a planter

The only rose that bloomed in the planter this year! I need to take better care with this plant and prune regularly for more flowers.


Hydrangea (or ajisai in Japanese)

I love these blooms; they look wonderful, require little maintenance and come up year after year faithfully. All I do is cut off well beneath the dead flowers every August and trim the bush.


Hydrangea close-up

Isn’t she beautiful? This variety of Hydrangea is called Gakugei Ajisai in Japanese. The white flowers develop spots of red as days elapse. I propagated this plant through cutting and have another bush elsewhere in my home garden.



This is the first time I have planted Zinnia. I must say the flowers are durable – more than a month has passed and they flowers are still intact on their stalks! I planted the yellow and white Zinnia together with marigold of a different variety (supposedly large blooms) but have yet to see a Marigold bloom. The slender leaved plant is in front of the Zinnias in the photo above.


Fig (or ichijiku in Japanese)

The fig tree in my home garden has been giving me delicious figs – luckily the fig leaves are hiding the fruits from the birds, so the fruits are still intact. The harvest has just started; I think around August I should have about 30-40 figs.


Cucumber (or kyuri in Japanese) flower

Constant rains and cloudy weather has kept the sun away and caused abnormal growth; my cucumber plants at home after yielding plenty of cucumbers suddenly had huge yellow flowers and no cucumbers. This is the first time I saw a flower so big.


Flowers from my home garden

They freshen up the dining table!


Morning glory – pink

The first of these flowers have come up on the net.  Have also planted a purple morning glory plant nearby. Within a month, I expect the entire net in front of the large windows will be a curtain in pink and purple.


Morning glory – purple

The first purple morning glory has bloomed! The best part of these flowers is that around September/October when the plants are dead, you’ll find lots of seeds. Collect them, place them in a cool place and grow them next season.


Morning glory – monotone

I planted a couple of these along my fence. When in full bloom, the entire fence will be covered with these flowers. You need to take care to lead them in the right direction every day.


Rose of Sharon

Finally, the first of these flowers has bloomed belatedly. At the beginning of spring, I went into a frenzy of pruning and wielded my shears wildly. The poor Rose of Sharon plant became a small shade of itself – yet it has forgiven me and has started giving out beautiful flowers.


Mixed collection from Karuizawa

On a recent road trip to Karuizawa with friends, I picked up several flowering plants including pink geranium, mini rose, margaret (?) and bulbous begonias that resemble the rose. The weather is much cooler in Karuizawa, so I prefer to place these in the shade.

Next post – experimental projects coming soon!

Have a great day!


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July 2015

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