Saturday, October 3, 2009

misc pink flowers

This was one of those mystery plants that I bought at the weird and unfriendly but exceedingly cheap flower shop I have mentioned before. Some days I really like it and others, I'm not so sure. It is in it's second year and doing well.
Despite all my efforts to kill them the mums keep on coming back. I guess they like being chopped back to the ground frequently all year long. These are actually the prettiest pink ones. Or they will be.
Buds starting.
Two big cosmos on the south side of the embankment really took off from all the seeds I scattered last year. I also got one Howden pumpkin to grow over here.
These flowers do really well along the south fence and seed like crazy. I keep throwing the seeds up along the embankment in hopes of getting them going up there, but no luck yet.

I thought I was so lucky to get this shot of a butterfly in our rose giant. But then I went out 6 hours later and it was still there. When it was still there the next morning my husband pulled it out and it flew away. I guess it got stuck.

Friday, September 11, 2009


My husband begged two big pottery containers off of neighbors and friends, got some plants and little fish (guppies, maybe?) from the river with the girls and made two little biotopes. The plants grew quickly (lots of roots).
The little fish did well, lots of mosquito eggs to eat, I'm sure. But they were kind of hard to see.
So we got some goldfish.
And set them free in their new home. They did well until the first hot day, and I think all of them died. So sad. But the little river fish are a hardier species and are still going strong.
And the girls like searching for them.
Then one day we got buds.
And flowers! Very pretty. They only bloom for one day, but we have had them continuously for over a week now.
from above
and close up

Friday, September 4, 2009

in other garden news...

I'm sorry I am just not able to update the blog as regularly as before. I am trying to exercise more, and the time has to come from some where. I would prefer to cut out household chores, or breaking up fights between the girls, or cooking. However, blogging is where the time ends up coming from.
The okra is reaching for the stars. It is getting to the point where it is very hard to harvest. Too bad we don't have any tall people in this family.
We get about 10 pods a day, which is really more than enough okra for a family of 4! Luckily, I had an okra-loving friend visit on Monday and gave her a whole big bag so we had two okra free days. It's good stuff, but I am starting to run out of fresh and exciting okra ideas. Simmered okra, okra gomae, curried okra, okra pesto spaghetti, help?
The baby trees on the embankment are coming along nicely despite the occasional pumpkin vine attack.
Tomatoes in planters survived, barely, but are sad and pathetic. We get maybe two cherry tomatoes a week. All the ones in the ground rotted in the July rains.
Even sadder and more pathetic, but trying!
We have baby kinkans on our kinkan tree. They look like marble sized oranges and are eaten whole (except the seeds). We hope to have kinkans to harvest this winter!
Edamame plants are doing well.
Fall cucumbers are planted. The second generation of cucumbers have more or less fizzled out and we are going through cucumber withdrawal with only 2 or 3 a week. Okra just isn't the same...
And finally, cosmos on the embankment! Finally, after sowing seeds seeds and more seeds three plants have come up and two are doing really well.

Monday, August 31, 2009


We bought a pumpkin stand yesterday (I think it is actually marketed for flowers) because the only relatively cool dry place we have to store pumpkins is in our front entrance which was getting a bit crowded. It is a great stand because it folds up for easy storage during non-pumpkin season. So these are the pumpkins my husband harvested while we were in the US, two Cinderellas and 6 kabochas.
Three Howden (Jack o' Lantern pumpkins) are coming along well on the south embankment. Hopefully will be right on time for Halloween, maybe a bit early.
One more Cinderella on the way.
We have terrible udonkobyo (powdery mildew?) and the evil orange bugs have multiplied exponentially.
Pumkin vines on the north emankment (by the river)
And south embankment (just before a major pruning)
Baby kabocha
Baby Howden

July rains bring...

dead tomato plants for starters. mold and rot mold and rot. Luckily we weren't here for a month of rain rain and more rain...My husband's baby trees down by the river were submerged
These are the bigger trees by the river at the beginning of August
And yesterday (normal) from a slightly different angle, but you get the idea.
(I think these two naked teenagers actually stole this boat, but I didn't have the nerve to confront them.)
The pumpkin vines were also under water. That one pumpkin you see in this photo rotted. Luckily the pumpkins survived and are doing great!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gardening in Connecticut

We were at my father and stepmother's house in CT for the last two weeks of July. This is the house in which I spent my weekends growing up "helping" my father in the garden. I didn't have a good camera with me, so I can't really do it justice, but here is a snippet of my father's garden as it was in late July.
I was having serious misty lense issues with the camera, but it came out kind of cool, I think. This is my father's main vegetable garden which he has attempted to make wild animal proof. He used to have a woodpost fence, but Chuckles, the woodchuck would sit on the posts and well...chuckle.
Just inside the gate.
Dad's kohlrabi is gorgeous. We've tried it here in Japan a few times, but no luck.
Beautiful and delicious fortex beans. M, especially, loved these. My father gave me three packets of seeds, but they mysteriously vanished from our luggage on the way home.
Look what we are missing out on!
Grape vines on the fence, with gladiolus beneath and baby carrots plants in the foreground. The grape vines are new and have baby grapes! Please tell us how these turn out, Dad!
This year was a bumper year for blueberries. These blueberry bushes were quite big when they moved to this house 33 years ago (though I was much smaller, so maybe they just seemed enormous) so they are very well established. M picked buckets of blueberries and L ate buckets of blueberries. Coming from Japan where we harvested a total of 4 tiny sized blueberries, we were in blueberry heaven. I think part of the secret is the huge mounds of leaves from the property that they haul to the blueberry patch each year.
Raspberries, too. I remember when my dad brought home several sticks and claimed that someday they would be a raspberry patch. We were skeptical, but here it is!
This is the shed that my grandfather built when he his 70s I believe. Isn't it just perfect?
These are gratuitous yard photos so that my readers in Japan can be green as with envy over the acreage and large trees as I am.
This was my favorite tree, we used to climb it as kids.
And there is a park across the street with farm animals, a small playground and lovely scenery.
Thank you so much for a lovely visit D&D!!!