Saturday, March 01, 2008

Just a hint of the coming spring....

I absolutely love this time of year in Japan. We are still in winter and for sure, it will get really cold again, at least one more time. But, until then....it's beautiful. There is a chill in the air that can almost be ignored....until about 5:00 in the late afternoon, but even then, it's not too bad.

If you are prone to allergies, then, maybe, it's not such a good time as we are surrounded, literally, by the most beautiful of flowering plants and trees. We rent our house and were incredibly lucky to get one with not one, but two small gardens and a backyard. Usually, homes here have a very small garden area, if any at all. We live in an area that is considered "country" to the people of Nagasaki....most of the houses around us have gardens and they are kept immaculate. (Not ours though...we lean toward the "jungle" look many times!!!)

In our garden....in the back yard, our "mokuren" (magnolia tree) has just started the blossoming process. We also have "natsu mikans" (summer tangerines that are a little larger than regular tangerines and much MUCH tarter to the taste), that are almost ready to be picked back there and the orange color is so vivid against the green of the trees. We have a couple more flowering trees, but they won't "do their thing" for a while yet....one tree has THE most beautiful smelling blossoms, so sweet with a hint of orange and something else...sorry, but it's too hard to describe.

In the front garden, our camellia tree's flowers are almost finished....the flowers falling apart and laying all around under the tree, in my herb garden. The dark pinkness looking like a blanket around my rosemary, lemon grass, and oregano.

But....my favorite of all things in our garden, sits surrounded by a variety of green trees....the color of the blossoms gives the whole garden a bit of a whimsical feel about it. It is an "ume" (plum) tree, but it is a special kind of ume tree....a "sudare ume", or hanging shade plum tree. The tree itself has weeping willow qualities, but with the most beautiful, delicate, pink flowers....hanging like a beaded curtain in our garden.



This picture was taken with my cell phone...I'll try to get a better one tomorrow, but...it's still good, I think. You can see the color of the flowers....aren't they just beautiful!?!

I hope that spring is in the air, wherever you are. Enjoy the colors around you...today, even doing the laundry wasn't so bad because I could walk amongst the "springness" as I took the clothes out to be hung outside in the cool, dry air.



8 comments:

katydidnot said...

great photo. makes me miss my real garden, a container garden isn't the same.

Ginaagain said...

What a beautiful descriptions and a nice picture too. Plum blossoms are so beautiful. I'm jealous of your camillia, I've never been able to keep one alive. How do your neighbors feel about your jungle theme? I prefer wild looking gardens but when we lived in a "perfect" neighborhood all of my neighbors complained that we didn't prune or weed enough.

Nothing has started blooming here but the rhodadendrons are all budding out and it won't be long before the whole city turns shades of pink... and everyone in my house starts sneezing.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

More pictures please! It sounds beautiful!

Mrs. G. said...

I can't believe you have real fruit growing on your tree. I have to buy mine at the grocery store. Beautiful photo. I adore pink.

dkuroiwa said...

Hey katydidnot..I kind of miss my container garden...much easier to take care of!!

Gina...it's funny that the neighbors don't really seem to mind...our yard it up from the street so it's kind of hard to see, BUT...the K-man says it's embarrassing. Me? eh..I'm kind of partial to the jungle myself!!
I get into "trouble" when I don't sweep the street in front of our house...usually one little old man does it...I buy him chocolate to balance out the guilt I have!!

Mrs. G...if you come to my door in March, you will get a bag of mikans!! I give them to ANYONE who rings our doorbell...mailman, newspaper lady, futon salesman...Last year we had over 100 grapefruit-sized mikans!!! They're good, but..too much for everyday!!!

Laura said...

Great photo - I can't wait for spring.

Thanks for stopping by my little bog!

Cheri said...

Now that is lovely. I just want to hop on an airplane . . .

Nancy said...

I enjoyed reading about Spring in your area.Thanks for sharing the picture of the plum blossom.It is so pretty.Looks so delicate and I love the colors.Please share more pictures.We won't see anything close to Spring till late April and May.Sometimes the leaves aren't back on the trees till sometime in May.I want to see a taste of Spring through your lovely garden.