The rose garden I often visit is located inside a much larger theme park. Regardless of the time of year, the park is full of containers of colourful flowers and anytime I have gone I have been impressed. The flowers change with the season, of course, and the last time I visited many of the containers were full of pansies. To be honest, I usually don't get all that excited about pansies but these were such beautiful groupings of colours and shapes...
Yes, I know it's spring. Actually, it feels more like summer! Today was a beautiful sunny day, +27C, and the humidity was low. A perfect Canadian summer day if there ever was one - expect that I live in Osaka and summer will not arrive for some time yet. Soon it will be stinking hot and humid and I will be wishing for cooler days such as these...
But I digress! Despite the warmth, today I'm thinking about winter. The joys of winter, to be exact. I've been looking at the photos I took In February when I returned to Canada to spend some time with my family. I hadn't spent a winter in Canada in decades and I had forgotten how beautiful winter could be! The blue sky! The snow! The hoar frost! The birds! The deer! It was winter overload and I loved all of it. Even the record-breaking cold couldn't dampen my enthusiasm. My family just shook their heads and rolled their eyes...
Okay, so I went a bit a balmy but I do have evidence - minus the cold, of course!
(Click on the thumbnail to see the full image.)
It's Golden Week in Japan and the whole country is on holiday. Golden Week is a collection of 4 national holidays all within a one-week period and many companies and business close for the duration. This year an additional holiday has been added to celebrate the beginning of Reiwa, a new era for a new emperor. For many, this means a total of 10 days off and the news has been full of stories about cranky people who don't know what to do with all their time off.
Well, it's not a problem in this household! We've been running errands, spring cleaning (hello, clean curtains!), and doing odd jobs around the house. They are mostly things that don't get done during the usual weekly routine so it feels great to check them off the to-do list.
Of course, we've also managed to get out a bit. We usually stick close to home during Golden Week because traffic tends to be horrific but on Sunday we took a chance. We spent most of the day in Kyoto (light traffic both ways) and dropped by Kyoto Botanical Garden in the early afternoon to see what there was to see.
As usual, I made a beeline for the native plants garden but as we wandered through the area we could see very colorful flowers off in the distance. Roses? No! Peonies! That area of the garden included many peony varieties and it was a riotous collection of colours and shapes. Most surprising was the size - some were larger than dinner plates! I had no idea peonies could grow to be so large! Ah, such gorgeous flowers!
I so enjoyed the unexpected treat and returned home determined to grow more peonies. Okay, I'll confess. I only have one peony plant at present, and it has only bloomed for me once. That was last year after 5 years of continued efforts. (The secret was more fertilizer.) Regardless, I am determined! I need more peonies in my life!
Here are some of the beauties I saw at the Kyoto Botanical Garden. Perhaps you need more peonies in your life as well? (^.~)
(Click on the thumbnail to see the full image.)
The new computer has arrived and it's a joy to behold! Setting up is proceeding smoothly but it will take a little more time, I'm afraid.
So, until I'm up and running as usual, here is a photo from several years ago. It was taken one beautiful April evening while cherry blossom viewing along the river in Osaka.
Ah, April is such a lovely month here. I never get enough of cherry blossom viewing. Who does?
It has been slightly more than a month since my last blog post. Oops! That was not the plan! I had anticipated a break while I was visiting Canada since my parents live completely off the grid. (This includes no internet access.) However, I had hoped to hit the ground running upon my return to Japan. Instead, I came down with a wicked case of bronchitis and am only now feeling like I'm back in the land of the living. Whew!
One good thing about this break, however, was that I had a lot of time to catch up on podcasts and web articles that I had tucked away. Several were exceptional and today I'd like to introduce a podcast that I've been mulling over ever since I first heard it.
I often listen to Jocelyn K. Glei's podcast, Hurry Slowly. Her aim is to help her listeners "find more creativity and meaning in their daily work". I always find her interviews and monologues to be thoughtful and stimulating but a recent podcast about the tension between creativity and efficiency was particularly insightful.
In this busy world, it's easy to think that creativity can be manipulated and made to conform to our ideas of productivity and how things get done. Not true, Jocelyn reminds us. That's not how creativity works.
I've been struggling with a bit of a creative dry spell and so her words were a great reminder to give the creative process the time and space it needs. (Which is not to say the one doesn't need discipline as well, of course!)
I will most certainly be listening to this podcast again. In fact, I highly recommend it for anyone who does creative work of any kind. So, if that's you, off you go! (^.~)/
Link:Jocelyn K. Glei: Creativity vs Efficiency
By the way, if you do listen to the podcast, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Just leave a comment below.
(Completely unrelated but here's a photo of overgrown asparagus in my mother's garden.)
I'm a photographer based in Osaka, Japan. I love to take photographs. I like to share.