When we moved back to the US from Ireland in 2009, we bought our current home. We were fortunate because the previous owners had taken care of the yard very well, so we inherited a nice flower garden among other surprises. My wife and I never owned a yard before, so we’ve been learning how to take care of it. I like to imagine we have a show called Daguwan Dasshu (ダグワンダッシュ) like the Japanese TV show tetsuwan dasshu (鉄腕!DASH!!』).1 ;p
Anyhow, Friday afternoon I came home from work a little early and all the flowers were blooming, so my daughter and I took our camera and took photos around the house. This is our humble tour. The rest of the photos are here.
The first flower is the Camellia bush (椿 tsubaki in Japanese):
Camellia bushes are great. They’re very pretty and pretty strong and low-maintenance.
Next, we have a cherry tree:
This is not a Japanese cherry tree (桜 sakura in Japanese). It has 5 pink blossoms like Japanese sakura, but Japanese sakura have small notches on each blossom. This does not. Every year though, it does make cherries, and these usually fall to the ground. Last year, one night, I saw racoons sitting at the bottom of the tree eating those cherries. 🙂 I am not sure what species of cherry tree it is, so if anyone know, please tell me.
To take the photo above, I had to use a ladder to climb up. My daughter also climbed the ladder and took this photo (good job, honey!):
We also had to use a ladder to photograph this tree also:
I am not sure what this is. It looks like a Japanese ume tree (梅 plum), but I haven’t seen it bear fruit before. If anyone knows, please tell me. I am guessing it might be a dogwood tree?
Speaking of plums, we do have a plum tree, but it’s an Italian plum tree:
Anyhow, this tree needs a lot of care I think. Thorn bushes have been growing all over it, so last year I trimmed the thorns away.2 I think that helped because the tree looked much healthier last year and we enjoyed many delicious Italian plums. Here’s a photo I took last year:
We ate all the plums in 2 days. ;p This year, I plan to trim away the dead branches. There are a lot here.
We also have an apple tree in the backyard, but it only bears green, bitter fruit. I don’t think we get enough sunlight here so it doesn’t grow well. Speaking of spring and blossoms this is one of my favorite poems from the Hyakunin Isshu.
人はいさ Hito wa isa
心も知らず Kokoro mo shirazu
ふるさとは Furusato wa
花ぞむかしの Hana zo mukashi no
香に匂ひける Ka ni nioi keru
Which Professor Mostow translates as:
With people, well
you can never know their hearts;
but in my old village
the flowers brightly bloom with
the scent of the days of old.
Anyhow, I’ll post updates throughout the year. 🙂
1 Apologies to TOKIO. 😉
2 A gardener friend told us that thorn bushes are good because they are native plants here, and the keep the soil from eroding when it rains. So we should trim them back, but not kill them.