Shoehorned

Before I get started, several announcements are in order.

First, happy father’s day to my badass father.

Second, happy birthday to my brother in law, Shinji.

And third, happy anniversary to my lovely wife and me.  We’ve been married for three years now, and they’ve been fabulous so far.  I continue to realize how lucky I am to have met and married Chieko -san.  From here on out, hopefully, we won’t be celebrating this day by ourselves.

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So, I’ve marveled for a while now at how Japanese people manage to cram a garden into whatever space is available.  In our old neighborhood, which was considerably more urban than the one we live in now, it was the norm to have a vacant plot of land between two houses where a communal garden was maintained.  I loved this green aspect to otherwise concrete neighborhoods.

Now that we’re living out in the countryside (relatively speaking), I’m interested in how the gardens differ.  Oddly, despite more space being available, the nature of the gardens isn’t all that different.  They may be a bit bigger (though not much), but the gardens out here are inevitably bound on one side or more by a rice paddy, a road, a canal, or all of the above.  

But I love the fact that agriculture is so ingrained in Japan.  Wherever they can stick a garden, Japanese people tend to do so.  I wish I could have taken more detailed pictures of these gardens, because there are a lot of unique little details.  Fodder for a future, followup post perhaps.  

Most of the gardens have a similar assortment of crops: soy beans, cucumber, onions, daikon radish, tomatoes, assorted herbs, lettuce, wild flowers, etc. 

Most of the gardens, from what I can tell, are kept up by old people who spend the majority of the day puttering around within the confines of their respective gardens.  Thus, these gardens are immaculate; nary a weed to be found, perfectly formed beds, precisely crafted trellises.  One can only hope for an old age devoted to such satisfying things.

We woke up to rain this morning but by the time I had finished my coffee and the Red Sox game was in the bag, it had turned into a beautiful summer day.  So I slung my camera over my shoulder and took the bike out in search of cool gardens. Judging by my mega farmer’s sunburn, sun screen would’ve been a good idea.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.

 

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