Faded blooms

We went to the Nogata Flower Park yesterday. The weather was beautiful but the blooms were not. It’s still a lovely place to visit and although I missed the chance to capture some lovely flower scenery- I did get to concentrate on something completely different…..We’ve had a lot of rain the past few weeks so I think we kind of missed the opportunity to view the peonies and a few other favorites.

The park is actually a really beautiful place to visit. I don’t like parks that are well manicured and “showy”. I prefer a more natural landscaping and this park has that feature.



There are areas where the flowers are planted in orderly rows but much of the park is planted in such a way that you feel as if you were wandering in a garden that just grew naturally. If that makes sense.


This is the grand entrance and it was a bit disappointing this year. Last year this area was planted with a mix of tall wispy wildflowers and it was just stunning. This year it was …well…not. The rain had done a lot of damage to the low flowers and most were a muddy, sand covered mess. That’s gardening though-you can try your best but it depends upon the weather.


One of my favorites is the Wisteria trellis.


The Wisteria was at full bloom …actually a bit past. Had we waited another two days or so I think we would have missed most of it. I love the fragrance of Wisteria. The bees love it too and I always enjoy just standing under a canopy of purple blossoms draping down from a trellis listening to all the busy buzzing over my head.

I sound like I’m complaining but I’m really not. We did enjoy the day.

Wandering around down by the pond there were some inspiring areas. The head gardener is actually a friend of mine and I’d like to tell him to plant more Iris patches. They are so stunning and add such an air of magic to just about any area. I would love to see them around the pond. It really needs some color.

We sort of meandered down to the children’s play area and found a bench to park ourselves on for a while. I like people watching and today was a fun day for that-which brings me to the interesting thing I wanted to share.

The gardening crew. Japanese gardeners have a distinctive look. They always remind me of fairy-tale characters. I used to love reading fairy-tale books that featured elderly people as characters. I was drawn to books with nature / garden type settings.

Sitting on our bench I noticed that the entire gardening crew was elderly.


I watched as they raked and pulled weeds.

I had heard that the young people here don’t want to do this kind of work. I think they are missing out. I’d love to work here. I wish there was a bus that passed by the park. It’s in a rather remote location set in a small valley between mountains so transportation is an issue. It’s a bit too far to walk to. If it were accessible I’d apply for a job-I’d even volunteer.

The head gardener is the man in the background of this photo.


I have a feeling he would hire me in a second. He’s a super nice guy. He studied gardening in England and Canada. All the things I thought about as I sat and just observed the gardening crew at work….

They seemed a jolly bunch. The bush-cutter gang came up from the area where they had been working and spent a few minutes laughing and talking to one of the women on the rake crew.

We say bush-cutter in Saipan…I think in America they saw brush-cutter. “Bushcuttering” is a verb in Saipan….lol

“Where’s Jose”?

“He’s bushcuttering gramma’s house-ney”…..



I loved the rice-sack (seed sack?) aprons two of the bush-cutter crew had fashioned.

Her outfit was fab-for some reason I loved the colors.


Did you notice the round things hanging from the side of their aprons?


That’s a bug repellent container. We use katori senko to repel mosquitoes ( mosquito coils) and this is a wearable coil holder that you will see almost all farmers/gardeners wearing.

I have a pig that holds my coils for me. The clay pig is a standard-type coil holder in Japan. At least in our area.


We watched a couple of antics in the children’s area. Parents took turns pulling their kids around in this old-fashioned kart. My husband said when he was a kid this “vehicle” was used to haul and sell things throughout the neighborhoods. Often you’d see them being hauled-piled high with rice or coal…the man pulling his heavy load through the streets would chant and cry out so that everyone would know he was in the neighborhood. Each vendor had his own particular chant.


When I asked my husband if he would pull me around the playground once I got a sideways look…darn. A gramma can’t have any fun.

So we wandered down to the pond area again. They have a little restaurant there where you can purchase noodles, ice-cream or coffee / matcha sets.



I did some more people watching. The pond was interesting to young and old alike.



A couple had parked “gramma” near the pond and I observed as she sat alone for the longest time and just sort of gazed out at the pond. I wondered what she was thinking about….days gone by when she was young and could walk anywhere she wanted to and see anything she wanted? It must be hard having to depend on others. I often think about what it will be like for me when I’m old…I have a compassionate heart towards the elderly.


It was time to go. We made a stop at our local supermarket and I browsed the sale section in the “non-food” section (it’s complicated to explain our store) and finally found a new noren for our genkan for only 900 yen! It’s exactly the kind of design I was looking for. This will do until autumn. I like to change the noren according to the seasons.


Today is another lovely day but I decided to stay home and let hubby go with his brother to the driving range. Our neighborhood is luxuriously quiet today. Nice day to write or read…which I’m going to do right now…..

4 thoughts on “Faded blooms

  1. Delightful!
    I enjoyed the tour.
    I can’t find anyone here who will pull weeds, do pruning, or even rake leaves. The yard care companies will only mow grass, edge, or lay down barkdust (mulch). So I’m working on simplifying my acre….

  2. Thanks… Yes- I understand. Even with my little garden here it keeps me busy. Now that I’ve turned it into a cottage garden it’s less work actually because of the nature of a cottage garden…..xo

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