SF: Flowers in her hair…flowers everywhere

Despite the drought (a fact of which you are constantly reminded here) San Francisco boasts some of the most beautiful flowers and landscaping, growing effortlessly on every corner. Of course, some people have been more deliberate about pairing, pruning and replanting. But, the city must have a handsome budget for all the public spaces as well. Here’s a sampling.

SF_07_052-sm SF_07_030-sm SF_07_000-smThe lovely garden at our B&B (Misson district). We sat here in the early evenings reading.

SF_07_001-smAround the back of the B&B there was access to the steam room.

SF_07_040-sm SF_07_047-smGraeme is experiencing a bit of bougainvillea envy.

SF_07_070-smIn the “Marina” district. I would take any one of these homes, yes please.

SF_07_091-smWould I need a full-time gardener to achieve this?

SF_07_090-sm SF_07_130-smHays Valley (my favorite area)

SF_07_161-sm SF_07_166-sm(above 2) Lombard St.

SF_07_176-smI could definitely not handle parking on this slope. I could barely walk it!

SF_07_184-sm SF_07_234-sm SF_07_201-smAnd finally…the land of dahlias.

San Francisco: Street Art, July 2014

SF_07_123-sm[above] This was one of my favorite works of street art, directly across from a Blue Bottle Coffee outpost on a tiny Hays Valley alley that reminded us a lot of Tokyo.

SF_07_231-smSF_07_024-smSF_07_193-smSF_07_101-smFrom the bus

SF_07_102-smFrom the bus: colorful wall enlivens a low-income neighborhood

fence-art Mission-FamCntr

SF_07_096-smMaybe not technically street art, but architecture-art…
SF_07_132-smkiss_streetartsource: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/listen-to-this-wall
source: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/listen-to-this-wall%5B/caption%5D

Spring in Austin & beyond (to Blanco, TX)

Spring is love-ly (hearts, love, get it??) in Texas. Commencing sometime around March, our foliage is fully developed by June. In effort to show off our Texas landscape to our Toronto family, we journeyed out to Blanco, TX after we had exhausted the Lady Bird Lake trail.


SLR_6__075-kinfolk-sm SLR_6__067-sm SLR_6_006-sm SLR_6_010-smwho can resist some lavender lemonade?

SLR_6_011-sm SLR_6_037-bee SLR_6_043-sm SLR_6_049-smNot quite Provence, but pretty close, eh?

Japan: a most serene urban garden

Let me show you one of my favorite places I’ve ever been. Without doubt, the most beautiful urban garden you could lose an afternoon within.

Nezu Museum TokyoNezu Museum Tokyo
Nezu Museum TokyoNezu Museum Tokyo
NezuCafe, where we enjoyed a delicious, leisurely lunch (2 photos directly above) 

Nezu Museum TokyoNezu Museum Tokyo Nezu Museum TokyoNezu Museum Tokyo

Nezu Museum, Tokyo Nezu Museum, Tokyo Nezu Museum, TokyoGinkgo leaf, considered a living fossil. Shall I purchase these earrings in memory?

Nezu Museum, Tokyo Nezu Museum, Tokyo Nezu Museum, TokyoAutumn persimmons offer lovely colors and subtle flavours

Nezu Museum, Tokyo Nezu Museum, Tokyo

Rikyu, tea masterPresiding over the garden is Rikyū, the tea master.

Nezu Museum, TokyoAh, what a magical place.
The museum on the grounds is a serene building completed by architect Kengo Kuma.

Founded in 1941 following Nezu’s death, the museum boasts one of Japan’s most culturally significant private collections of Asian art from the pre-modern period. Nezu was a particularly avid collector of hanging scrolls and utensils for tea ceremonies, and today the museum has over 7,000 objects, including calligraphy, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, bamboo crafts and textiles. The collection was originally displayed in Nezu’s Aoyama residence, which stood in extensive traditional gardens studded with ponds, bridges and teahouses. In 2006 his grandson Koichi Nezu commissioned Kuma to remodel and rationalise the existing facilities and design a new building on the garden site. The revitalised complex reopened in October 2009.