knowing four seasons


Our scenes could tell the season changing that a temperature raise or goes down, young green leave start to come out or colorful foliage drops the end of fall season. However, how much we know how deeply the four seasons involves in our life style or arts? Learning more appreciation of four seasons that we have. ‘Japan and the culture of four seasons’ -Haruo Shirane

Founding Gardeners


Tom and I had a trip to two founding gardeners’s garden for two years ago. This book made me to experience US historic horticulture and it did not make me disappoint. How could I not to be fascinated what I do!

“For the founding fathers, gardening, agriculture and botany were elemental passions, as deeply ingrained in their characters as their belief in liberty for the nation they were creating. Andrea Wulf reveals for the first time this aspect of the revolutionary generation. She describes how, even as British ships gathered off Staten Island, George Washington wrote his estate manager about the garden at Mount Vernon; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’s faith in their fledgling nation; how a trip to the great botanist John Bartram’s garden helped the delegates of the Constitutional Congress to break their deadlock; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of American environmentalism. Taken together, these and other stories are a revelation of a guiding, but previously overlooked ideology of the American Revolution.”  Andrea Wulf


The Brothers Gardeners


“Bringing to life the science and adventure of eighteenth-century plant collecting, The Brother Gardeners is the story of how six men created the modern garden and changed the horticultural world in the process. It is a story of a garden revolution that began in America.” – Andrea Wulf

I really appreciated them, because they had discovered and constructed things that I have been interested in and working now…

First Garden : Children’s Book


Obama Foodorama:
Perfectly timed to celebrate National Gardening Month, Clarion Books will today release First Garden: The White House Garden And How it Grew, which breaks ground as the first artistic children’s book about First Lady Michelle Obama’s world-famous Kitchen Garden. Written and illustrated by Robbin Gourley, the book includes official White House recipes, and comes a year ahead of Mrs. Obama’s own book about her signature initiative, which will be published in April of 2012.

First Garden: The White House Garden and How It Grew ” is still available at book stores.

Lessons from past

I have few books that I have read over and over again for reference. ”Just enoughLessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan“ (Written by Azby Brown) is one.  Few years ago, when I had a big questions about sustainable gardening, this book lead me out of the dark tunnel.
justenoughtitleblockv2-500px The stories about how people lived in Japan a few hundreds years ago during the Edo period just before Japan opened up to western culture. The people of the Edo period intelligently managed their homes, fields, and forests; developed innovative designs for the things they needed, and maintained a sustainable society. While I was reading, I found a few interesting drawings that captured my eye. It was Illustrations of rice cultivation. It tells how to prepared the field, how to sow, transplant, harvest, dry, thresh, hull, winnow, polish, along with the rice cultivation cycle chart for the season. It was based 300 hundreds years ago, but I found out not much has changed these days. Our rice paddy was a miniature man-made pond compared the Edo rice field. We had tried to make an environment as close as what Edo period. As you see the growth illustration during the growing season, natural habitats thrived in the rice paddies. A few examples are the way we created extensive artificial wetlands releasing fish to help insect control and the irrigation system, and planting trumpet-shaped flower Morning glory along the rice paddy to invite birds.
just-enough_wetland-1-e1331693095102In the book at the end of the rice chapter, it also shows the diagram of how the people of the Edo period utilized every byproduct with food, household, fuel, mulch, compost and so on. The “zero-waste” ideal! As I learned from the book, I am hoping that our rice paddy helps us to understand not only food culture, but also sustainable culture.