And like that, we’re in the heart of summer. I’ve always considered myself a fall person, if forced to define myself by a season. But recently summer has been growing on me. There’s something about the heat and thickness of the air that I’m finding more appealing. I think it has to do with the abundance of life in the summer, both plant and animal, and the sense of urgency that NOW is the time to act, that time is ticking and soon enough it will be winter again. And of course the long days can’t be beat. Japan doesn’t participate in daylight savings, so this time of year the skies brighten around 4 in the morning and the sun sets after 7. Whereas spring always fills me with so much optimism as things awaken from their winter slumber, summer is giving me a great sense of contentment. These are the days.

The garden is on autopilot now that we’ve had plentiful rain along with lots of hot and sunny days. I wish the weeding was on autopilot too, but I haven’t yet reached that level of forest garden zen. Here are a bunch of pictures from around the yard.


It looks a bit chaotic, but almost everything growing there has some beneficial purpose.


There were some giant sunflower seeds that left over from last year that popped up. They are huge, about 12 feet tall, and are really cool. But they are also shading out more valuable plants that share the bed with them, including the pear tree. Next year if they pop up I will probably pull them. Small, uncooperative child for scale.


It’s not all good news in the garden though. In addition to a withered mini-tomato plant, I seem to have killed yet another fig tree. I killed two last year, so bought a bigger, more expensive one this year figuring it would be more robust than the smaller saplings I planted before. I even gave it a prime sunny spot in the yard. Hopefully it’ll bounce back next year.


The Jerusalem artichokes, on the other hand, on going bonkers!


Ultimately I hope to create a little more of a green screen to provide privacy. Even now though you’d never know my mother in law in lounging in the hammock on the porch.


There’s a lot going on in the side yard. I’ll avoid attempting to explain it.


Nice view from the hill.


I’ve already conjured up some modifications to the layout that I hope to tackle in the next few weeks. I’ll to dust off my rock/driftwood scavenging boots first though. Hope everyone’s enjoying the summer!

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