Every year the local ward office gives away 1,000 rose bushes. People who live in the ward can apply and the winners are chosen in a lottery. We applied 2 years in a row and had luck both times! This is the one my husband won. It's called "Blue Moon".
I've had a lot of trouble with my roses this year and, at one point, I wasn't sure our "Blue Moon" was going to survive. Thinking the end was near, I put it in a corner of the garden and left it alone. (At that point I had done everything I could.) To my relief, it continued to grow, then produced buds, and finally bloomed just a few days ago. I'm so pleased! (There are 2 rose season here in Japan: late spring and fall.)
It's cold out - maybe +11C - and I've been outside doing garden chores most of the afternoon. There is always debris to clear away and plants to fuss over. My hands are now ice but I certainly can't complain since Canada is currently experiencing a severe cold snap that makes +11C look positively tropical! Yikes!
There isn't very much that is interesting out there now, I'm afraid. Everything looks a rather bare and there are few flowers although my geraniums are still blooming regularly. Bless them! All my maple trees are completely bare except this one tree with the two seed pods that you see below. We had a ferocious wind storm last week. It was so bad that trains stopped running and schools were closed. I'm not quite sure how these two managed to stay attached!
Despite the cold, there are already signs of spring. Various bulbs that I planted in the fall are already sending up greenery. It always makes me a little uneasy since it's going to get a lot colder in the coming weeks. They should be fine, of course, but it partly depends on how cold it gets. Let's not break any cold weather records this winter, please!
Ah! It's spring! The weather is glorious and the garden calls but, unfortunately, there is much work to be done. This means that I spend more time than I would like sitting at my computer and wistfully counting the hours until I can get back out there. Thankfully, it's a relatively easy time of year as the garden doesn't really need me and I'm reaping the rewards of months of hard work. Still, I wish I had more time just to sit out there and enjoy it. (Who doesn't! (^.~))
There are lots of flowers blooming out in the garden right now but the current garden thrill has to be my purple iris. I have several varieties of iris but I bought this one last year hoping to add some colour to my small collection. Goodness, did it ever! I knew it was going to be purple, of course, but I had no idea it would be so beautiful. Such a lovely surprise! Thank you, purple iris!
(As for the others, not a single iris bloomed this year which is most curious. I gave them all the same treatment and they all look healthy but there's not a bloom in sight. I'd love to hear from you if you have any suggestions or advice.)
(Click on the thumbnail for the full image.)
I've been feeling a little blue. Okay, maybe grumpy is a more appropriate word. I enjoyed the holidays but they weren't exactly restful and January has been pretty demanding. My computer is also playing with me and although now would be a perfect time to be editing photos from the past, it's not cooperating. Grrrr... Computer, your days are numbered!
Thankfully, in the midst of a cranky January my garden still manages to cheer me up. I have little time to give it these days, and it's cold out there besides, but despite the gloom of winter, things still continue to grow. Every morning, as I leave for work, I take a quick peek at my garden. Currently I have a few pansies and snapdragons blooming, and several camellia bushes and a jade plant that should start any day now.
However, what cheered me up most this week was this - the first plum blossom of the year. There is no real need to get excited since this is what plum trees usually do this time of year. Regardless, it is a harbinger of spring and although that may still be some time off, January, your days are numbered too!
Several blog posts ago I mentioned that I had entered some photos in the LensCulture Black & White Photography Awards. At the time I only posted one photo and a link to my FB photo page which would then take you to a another link where you could view my entries on the LensCulture site. On hindsight, that was a few too many hoops to jump through - and to see rather small images at that.
So, here are my entries. Since Lensculture's only stipulation was that the entries be in black & white, there is no unified theme. I simply chose some of my favorite black and white images. All of them were taken when I was out and about (nothing staged), and all were taken close to my home in Osaka except for the lantern photo. That was taken when I was on a trip to Singapore.
Unfortunately, if I add captions to the photos, it cuts off part of the image so here are the photo details.
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.