“Often I sit, looking back to a childhood,
Mixt with the sights and the sounds of the wildwood”
– Henry Kendall
If there’s one thing that makes me happy, it’s being surrounded by nature. Living in the city makes that a bit hard, but there are ways! In particular, I love flowers. The smell, the colours, their meanings, the way they brighten up any room or garden, the way receiving a bunch of flowers or even a single rose can make you smile! Pretty cliché, I know, but it’s true. Growing up, our home was in the middle of our own little rainforest. Towering trees, shrubs, vines, and the odd wild animal! There were all sorts of flowers: hibiscus, bottle brush, lily of the nile, frangipani, hydrangea, and many many more. There’s no doubt it all made a lasting impression on me!
So, because I live in the city, I try to make an effort to ‘get back to nature’ as much as I can. Recently, I joined my regular hiking group for a trip to Ikuta Ryokuchi Park in Kawasaki, just west of Tokyo. Ikuta Green is in a hilly area and has a fabulous view of the Tokyo skyline. The weather on the weekend was perfect – blue skies and not a cloud in sight – so we could even see Tokyo SkyTree and Tokyo Tower way off in the distance! The park has a few different features, and one of the main attractions is a small but elegant rose garden. I could have spent hours taking photos and enjoying the afternoon warmth! The flowers bloom in spring and autumn, so they are just approaching their last stretch before winter takes over.