Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Into the world of Peter Rabbit picture book at Mt. Rokko

Mt. Rokko (931 meters) is the highest peak in the Rokko mountain range, which provides the green backdrop to the city of Kobe. 

An Englishman, Arthur H. Groom pioneered the development of Mt. Rokko as a resort place in the beginning of the 20th century.

Almost at the same time in Britain, 1902, The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published to be greatly
acclaimed. The nature of the English Lake District which the author Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) loved are incorporated into the stories.  In early July, I enjoyed some scenes from the picture book unfolding at Rokko Garden Terrace and Rokko Country House.

At the gate of Rose Walk, Peter Rabbit welcomes you.

British cottage garden is my favorite garden style
for its natural, unpretentious look with various plants close together. 
I know it takes a certain amount of time, thoughts, and efforts to create a garden that looks natural. 

I have been so familiar with Foxgloves in my British blog friend’s posts 
that I came to think a cottage garden is not perfect without Foxgloves in early summer.  
I was so happy to see them in person!

I almost tried to insert my fingers to the glove.

Time for a Dandee cake made of dried fruits and nuts which Squirrel Nutkin collected
and organic Darjeeling tea.

Dear Friends,

I’ve had uncomfortable sensation of floating with slight nausea since last week when I was suddenly caught by a balance disorder.  I took MRI test in case and my brain turned out to be healthy and young for my age.  I think I’m on the way to recovery, but it’d be better for me to stay away from computer for a while.  (This post was already made before I fell into bad health condition.)  And besides, now that rainy season is over, it’s high summer, time to enjoy idleness, to have cozy slow time with family.  I’ll have a summer break on blogging a little earlier than I planned.  

Wish you a lovely summer or winter, and be safe from the dangerous heat or cold. 


Thank you for reading.
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Friday, July 1, 2016

Refreshing colors of the rainy season

The colors of June: blue and green, in this post published in 2014,
I wrote the impressive colors of June are green and blue. 
The green colors deepen more and more with each rain, and in the lull in the rains, 
the blueness of the sky is so beautiful and dazzling to eyes.  
When it gets quite sweltering in July, the latter half of the rainy season,
 the color white brings coolness and freshness.  
When I walked around the Kobe Botanical Forest (Kobe Municipal Arboretum), 
blue, green, and white were especially appealing to me.

Lacecap hydrangea, or Hydrangea macrophylla, native to Japan

Hydrangeas bloom later at the higher altitude.  
Many bright, deep blue hydrangeas bloom in Mt. Rokko influenced by its acidic soil from granites.

I have always been mesmerized by reflections on water. 
All green reflections of this season is so special and enchanting.  
Mirror reflections are perfect, but I prefer distorted images
with ripple-effect caused by the breeze.





Annabelle, the best known variety of Hydrangea arborescence, is from the eastern US.   
The ornamental flowers are white with slight tint of green at first, becomes white, 
and changes into lime green lastly in two weeks.

Sudden appearance of a lizard was a total surprise.
I enjoyed photographing him doing hide-and-seek in Annabelle flowers.

Enjoy your July, my Friends!
No matter how the weather is, you'll be able to find something pleasant around you.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

A walk through 花菖蒲, Japanese water irises

Hana-shobu Iris (Japanese water iris, or Iris ensata var. ensata) starts to bloom
 with the arrival of the rainy season. 
At the Iris Garden of the Shiro-kita Park (since 1934), Osaka, irises bloomed 
 much earlier than usual perhaps due to long warmer spring. 

I like to visit Iris Garden on a rainy day because Irises look the most enchanting to me 
in the softly falling rain. 
Sunny day is not bad at all, however, if your visit is in the morning. 

The blooms shimmered in the light, so did the reflections.

I wandered around the garden while admiring the "rainbows on earth
in hues of blue, purple, pink, yellow, and white.
This Iris Garden has about 13000 irises of  250 different cultivars

Hanashobu irises you see in Japanese gardens around the country 
are the result of careful selection and hybridizationwith other Japanese and Eurasian irises 
since Edo period (1603-1867) when horticulture flourished.
Breeders and growers have created better and more colorful irises.
Each cultivar was given noble name fitting to its appearance when it was cross-bred.

Usually I don't remember the name, but these white is "夕鶴 Yu-zuru/Female Crane".
Do you see a flock of fluttering crane?

A walk through Hanashobu irises is one of the summer joys.

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