November super moon

All day I have been disoriented. One thread of myself not following the other.

The weather report says
Cloudy skies. Slight chance of a rain shower. Low near 35F. Winds light and variable.

But they didn’t mention that the full moon tonight is the closest moon to rise in almost 69 years. In fact, the full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until Nov. 25, 2034.

All I know is that my Saga Chrysanthemums have finally bloomed.



In the ninth month – Hagi

In one of the most poignant scenes of The Tale of Genji when Murasaki is dying, she writes her last poem:

“So briefly rests the dew upon the hagi
Even now it scatters in the wind.”

I associate Hagi with all the poetry and romanticism of Japan and it was one of the first things I planted in my garden. I love how it cascades over my front porch in the autumn.


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A ‘Hagi’ Bush Clover in September. It spills over my front porch.

Bush Clover ( Lespedeza Japonica), known in Japan as ‘Hagi’, is one of the seven grasses of autumn and is mentioned in hundreds of verses of the Manyoshu poetry anthology compiled in the 9th century. Hagi is associated with dew and fleeting qualities of life.

In the Hein period of Sei Shonagaon, clothing was formal and women wore many layers of kimono. Color combination of the layers was of prime importance and the names given to the colors were associated with nature, usually plants and flowers. There was a ‘Hagi’ combination of maroon over spring-shoot green, worn only in the autumn.

When I was in Japan I saw Hagi growing everywhere. Brushwood fences are even made from it’s branches.

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Brushwood fence at the Imperial Palace, Kyoto.

Brush fence Shimogama Shrine

Brush fence Shimogama Shrine

Hagi, just beginning to bloom, at Byodo-in.



Garlic scapes


A friend gave me some garlic scapes this summer. Instead of roasting and eating them, I put them in a vase with some Hostas. Very Victorian. The vase is by Frances Palmer.

Planting spring bulbs

Fall is a most wonderful time and one gets quite excited about planting bulbs for spring. I have visions of my front lawn carpeted with bright blue scillia and early flowering crocus so this fall I ordered lots of bulbs to plant. It is most distressing when they arrive to realize you have ordered hundreds of tiny corms that need individual planting, one-by-one.

Seiko came up for the weekend and it took the two us at least the morning to dig the bulbs.

But what Sei Shonagon would call “things later regretted” is to go to the mail box a week later and find a box FULL of twenty five more bulbs to plant.

Come back later this spring and I’m sure the crocus, scillia, frittalaria, muscari, allium, chionodoxa and leucojum will all be found under her category of “things that make you feel cheerful”.