A hollyhocks war

A woman stood in front of my window. She seemed to be peering into the living room. Ours is a busy urban street, a tram stop across the road, a petrol station, cars speeding by, people rushing past on their way to the beach. No one lingers. I would like them to, at some point,…

No-thinning gardening

It has been a strange spring – sunny, very dry and remarkably chilly. We had our first frosts of the year in mid-April. I sowed compulsively at the end of March and first half of April, the worst and scariest of the quarantine. Very little of that came up. I had to go over the…

A way to hug a tree

I did hug a tree before, at the time hoping for a connection, some reciprocity, a promise of healing. This time, I hugged a tree without any expectations, just to get closer, to notice little things about it and to observe my sensory reactions. Nothing too "fancy" or esoteric. It is much more rewarding, I…

The sakura in my care

This year we hosted a small cherry-blossom-viewing party, hanami, for the first time. I had come to think that the cherry tree in our garden (a swaying factor in our decision to buy this house) deserved a celebration. A dedicated party thrown in its honor - despite the tree being, most likely, a Kanzan. My…