Archives for posts with tag: Japan

I’m back to blogging after a period of not. We are leaving my frozen garden…

for a 12 day trip to Japan to see the leaves change color in the temple gardens and hills around Kyoto. And maybe I’ll be able to buy a can of hybrid pumpkin seeds. 

We are home again at Timogarden after a fantastic three weeks in Japan. The weather here is warm, spring-like and the garden looks great. I’m really inspired to get into it again. Inspite of the jet lag, I’ve been weeding winter weeds and spreading compost.

In Japan I got lots of seeds – mostly different kinds of pumpkins, but also sweet corn, turnips, black soybeans, red shiso, burdock and more.

I found plenty of seeds but not the exact ones I wanted and not in large packages which would have been cheaper and more convenient. My skills in Japanese were just too meager. I’ll have to study more diligently the next few years until we go again. And I’m sure there will be a next time. Japan is just toooo nice not to.

We didn’t get everything done that we wanted to do on this trip – like get to an ecological farm or a miso factory (language skills not good enough and too little time), so there is still much to look forward to, and It will have to be for two months at least next time.

The last day in Japan. I tried to get a few more farm and garden pictures from the train window on the way to the airport.







Thats all for this time – we are determined to return.


Toji Temple in Kyoto has a flea market the 21st of every month.

We managed to get it in the last full day of our trip.

Lots of food

Here, piles of wakame seaweed and fish

Antiques, garden art and stuff



Even seeds and plants


It took us all day just to go around and look at everything. In the end we bought quite little – we had gotten almost everything we wanted already, and the prices were the same or higher than we had found in shops earlier.

Our bags are already full anyway.



The weather has been fabulous the last couple of days.

The ground is drying out much earlier than last year, and it is really difficult waiting.

I feel like plunging into the spring garden work, but I know there will be a change in weather sooner or later. Starting too early never seems to be any good in the end. I must stick to my ingrained schedule.

Besides there’s no sense in starting anything big now when we are going to be away in Japan for a few weeks. We’ll have plenty of time to do the spring work when we get back.


Choo hoo, we got our tickets to Japan.

Three weeks in April for visiting the sites, temples, gardens and tasting the traditional food. We should be able to see some cherry blossoms too.

The last time I was there was in 1973 to study Japanese traditional gardening and food processing. Wow, 40 years. Some things may have changed.

We hope to visit some small-scale ecological gardens and traditional food production outfits. If anyone has any tips on places to visit, let us know!

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My favorite seed catalog has come.

Runåbergs Seeds are all organic with no hybrids, and I love the cover art.

First I’ll have to go through all the old seeds and figure out what I need, check a couple other catalogs and then make the order. I invariably miss something and have to buy more seeds later.

We’ll be taking a trip to Japan this spring and picking up lots of seeds there too, but I can’t wait till after that for the seed order.

It’s the time of year for starting out the curbits. Various kinds of pumpkin, squash, sunflowers and many other flowers need to be started out earlier than the weather and short growing season of this part of Sweden permit. The seeds are sown in flats that can be kept indoors and can thus get going a few weeks ahead of time for later planting out after frost risk is over in the beginning of june.

Two flats of hokkari kabocha a Japanese pumpkin, also known as the hokkaido pumpkin.

It has an exceptionally delicious flavor with a thick orange meat – my favorite. Even tho it’s a hybrid variety, I have to have it, and so do my Japanese customers. I get the seeds directly from Japan by way of Japanese friends who go back and forth often. Next year we are planning on going ourselves.