|Long view of the garden in January.|
Instead, winter mornings are more akin to this one. I'm still perusing seed catalogs, but the sun shines brightly in a clear blue sky. Winter in Japan is a dry and bright season. The only thing in my region wearing a coat of white is Mount Fuji glittering in the west. My garden is not as busy or full as it is in summer, but things are growing there and there is always a chore to be done.
|You'll have to peer closely to catch site of the red onion seedlings, but they are there.|
|Volunteer kale and norabo|
Parsley also self-seeded around the garden, and I'm encouraging it wherever I can. Swallowtail caterpillars seem to enjoy it as much as we do in our salads and pesto. Plus, it along with the bergamot are a welcome tastes of our time in Michigan. At this moment, both look a bit worse for wear, but I have faith that as the weather warms, they will stretch tender leaves and stems up to begin a new season.
|Beyond the lettuce and covered with burlap bags is where popcorn will be planted.|
A shortage of wara again this year meant I needed to come up with another solution. Last year's failure of the potato bed was also a valuable lesson. Using a row cover on top of the bed only served to dry out the soil and create a scenario where almost nothing, especially my potatoes, could grow. A few parsley plants gave it a go, but otherwise the soil remained empty. The result is that this year I am using burlap bags from a local coffee shop. It may not be perfect, either, but I have some hope.
|Lettuce seedlings in wara.|
Meanwhile, back in the cozy living room, tomato, viola, and marigold seeds are, hopefully, giving serious thought to sprouting. The tomatoes I bought at the local garden center were not as nice as my Amish Paste, and I decided I wanted marigolds and violas that I could collect seed from for future gardens. Hopeful, of course, is the key word in this endeavor as in all others in the garden.