Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I thought cosmos were supposed to bloom in late summer/fall, but apparently this one is confused. I love cosmos, so would be happy if they bloom from now till fall.
Finally some of the flowers in the flower bed closest to the house (NE bed) have started to bloom. This is where the bulbs are, and time between irises and lilies is a bit barren.
More nasturtium.
The SE flower bed is doing pretty well, but I have a bit of a gaping hole in the center that I have to think about. I'm hoping it will look better when the balloon flowers and gladioli start blooming. One Turkish balloon flower (? Turuko kikyo) seems to have survived the winter, hurrah! I love them.
I am still hoping for id on this blue flower which I love.
Reisentraube cherry tomato has zillions of blossoms in each cluster. If these all turn into mini tomatoes we will be in tomato heaven.
Strawberries are plugging along. Down to only 10 or so a day from a peak of 20. Not bad considering they are just in an out of the way corner, half under mud when it rains. They are to the right of the neighbor's garden tool shed in the photo below. Next year we should look into putting down some rice stalks or something for them to lie on.
An view from the girls' bedroom. The lawn has greened up, but the most trodden patches don't really get a chance to grow in .


Jeff Wignall said...

Hi, I'm in Stratford, CT and it's great fun to read about your garden in Japan. I came online to look up Reisentraube cherry tomatoes (I have 20 seedlings going) and found you. Interesting that you use so much black plastic mulch--I'll have to try it. Using straw mulch and cedar chips now.

illahee said...

i think cosmos bloom in spring and fall. i (also) think that the japanese mainly plant them to bloom in the fall. i agree, very pretty flower!

Xana said...

Hi Jeff! I am surprised that I would come up with Reisentraube cherry tomatoes. I guess I really do post too much about tomatoes! My father still lives in Hamden, and it is very different here, being so much warmer. He is always jealous to hear of our winter gardening.

I think black plastic is the most common method in Japan, though some people use rice stalks, too, or both. I actually would prefer rice stalks, but don't have a good source, as we don't have a rice field and all the rice farmer neighbors use all of theirs themselves. We do use the tall grass we cut from the embankment, but don't really have enough for our needs. I will be sure to let you know if we actually get any Reisentraubes! I saw my first baby R.tomato today, but haven't had a chance to photograph it.

Xana said...

Thank you Illahee, I didn't know they bloomed in the spring, I only see them in the fall around here. These self-seeded from ones I sowed (? what is the past tense of sow...?) last spring. I am trying to get them started on the embankment, but they can't seem to win out over the weeds.

Jeff Wignall said...

Hi Xana,

Thanks for your response. I went to school for a semester in Hamden (Paier School of Art). Your season in Japan must be quite a bit ahead of New England if you have tomatoes already. Most of my tomatoes (Reisentraube and a large heirloom variety called Veronica) are still sitting in pots on the porch waiting to get hardened off with a few days of sunshine. I'm hoping to put them all in the ground this week, though. I also bought six seedlings online from the See Savers Exchange (http://www.seedsavers.org/) a really great source of heirloom seeds and plants.

I'm going to try the black plastic mulch this year too! I'm using a lot of chopped straw right now (and used cedar mulch last year, worked very well), but I'm still getting the same bugs you're getting--or their North American cousins. I can almost hear the sound of munching during the night. I'm going to put plastic cups (with the bottoms cut out) over some seedlings to see if that helps--keeps the cutworms from eating the sunflowers usually.

Great photos on your blog!