Tag Archives: gardening


It’s February. I’m two months out from starting a photography workshop directed towards a personal gallery exhibition. The wind is cold, but the sky is blue. I’ve spent too much time playing games (BioShock and Red Dead Revolver) over the past couple of weeks, so I have again sent my memory cards into hiding so I can get some work done.

I’ve been pining for a winter camellia (man that’s an awful pun worthy of a Quest for Glory game), but haven’t found one yet. However, I was enchanted by a very beautiful boke (flowering quince) at the corner plant shop. I think I will try to grow it as a bonsai, but I really have no idea how that’ll work out, so for now my goal is to just not kill the poor thing.

Sunshine and vapor rub

Today I’m home sick. Somewhere along with the weather changes and brief slowdown (read: not crazy busy) at work, I got a fever and my throat decided to close up shop for a couple days.

So this morning I spent a few minutes sitting in the sun out on my balcony with a cup of rooibos tea while talking to my plants. Now I am bundled up at the PC with another cup of rooibos, a pot of okayu, and vapor rub on my throat (but no E, unfortunately). What you get is a day of me tidying up my photography folder and another one of my seasonal horticulture updates.

This is my recently acquired cranberry bush. I know it’s diminutive and poorly shaped, but I’m confident that a larger pot, aggressive picking, and a little fertilizer will make for a whole new bush next season.

You probably haven’t seen my pineapple in a while, well it seems that leaving it out on the balcony all summer was a really good thing. It’s doubled in size this season and really is begging for a transplant to a bigger pot. I’ve been told that unfortunately the moderate Tokyo climate isn’t warm enough for it to bear fruit, but we definitely have a second stalk coming out from the side here, so before it gets much cooler I think I’m going to gamble a split and move to a bigger pot.

Lastly, this is my first ever Japanese pumpkin, Punki. A dearth of arable land and as such pumpkins in general usually drives the price on gourds of this size upwards of thirty-five dollars, but I got a deal from a florist trying to recoup some of his fall window display investment on this healthy-looking guy for about twenty bucks. I don’t have a pumpkin knife and doubt I could find one, so this weekend at carving time I think I may take the Tim Taylor approach and go at it with my power drill. (Ha, ha, you think I’m kidding.)

Armin van Buuren’s A State of Trance podcast is running in the background, and I’m already thinking about next year’s trip to Ibiza. But I have totally unprepared trip to Austria in ten days, so it’s time to go hostel hunting in Vienna.

The Garden of Earthly Delights

It’s very, very late. And I am very, very tired. But, I’ve been meaning to introduce you to my flatmates, and I finally had the chance to get both of their photographs together.

This is Cliff, he’s lived with me ever since my last apartment back in Honmachi. I didn’t intentionally try to bring him with me, but somehow he got into one of the moving boxes and came along. This photograph is misleading because it’s a crop. Think about half the size of your pinky fingernail.

He likes to jump, and makes rounds all through the apartment each day. Sometimes you find him behind the AV center, sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes by my loft. We have an understanding built on mutual respect– I’ve never charged him for rent, and he’s never bitten me. So we live in peace. He actually has a wife now, but I’ve never seen a web.

And this is Spiffy, my salamander (or is he a gecko?). One of his brothers lived near my last apartment and frequently got trapped in the windows during summer. It was a real pain to get him back outside without either crushing him between the panes or having him scurry indoors. Anyway, this Spiffy takes advantage of my many planters, which are thankfully far away from the sliding glass doors. Here we see him taking a midnight stroll through the carrots.

The fruits (and vegetables) of one’s labour

I harvested the first of my vegetables last weekend while watching Die Hard. The radishes did a lot better this year than last, thanks to a lot of direct sunlight. I also got some sound advice regarding sprout management and the hard truth about survival of the fittest.

They were hella spicy. Ridiculously spicy. It was awesome.

In a week’s time, we’ll have pickles. VERY good for one’s digestion.

Life is such a wonderful thing.

Our house

You may or may not have heard from me directly about it, I’ve moved. About a month ago, I was lucky enough to have an end put to my suffering; for about four grand and more hoops than I can count, I have a new place to live. In many ways it is superior to my previous lodging, slightly less convenient in others, but overall I’d call it a minor improvement. The strong points this time around are (per specification): safety (two dead bolts and a chain), a reduced chance of disputes with neighbors (reinforced concrete, user-installed carpeting), and a balcony. I have only AM sun for my ever-expanding leafy family, but I have a nice view of southwest Shinjuku, which is especially pretty at night.

The challenges presented with my new home include: kitchen space shared with the sleeping area and, no closests. I do my best to meet these issues with liberal use of my many windows, and a planned downsizing of my wardrobe in concert with a clothesrack from The ‘Ho.

I’m pretty much settled in now (thanks to a self-imposed deadline of my first dinner party), so all that remains is to decide how to minimize wall damage from my many framed things, and wrangle the cable monster that is the result of five game systems, stereo, computer, half a dozen USB peripherals, and a synth/analog mixing setup. What I’m probably looking forward to the most is the growing season, since I have a fairly good size balcony and plenty of space for planters. What shall I plant this year?