Garden siteseeing in Japan, Portugal, and Spain

Garden blogs in Japan, Portugal, and Spain

Hold onto your mouse -- we're headed for visits to gardeners in far-flung parts of the world.

Our first two stops are in the Land of the Rising Sun.  In February, 2006, "Adekun" left his job in England and moved to Japan. In just a few weeks, he had started a garden. His goal: turning a piece of previously unworked ground into an organic minifarm. By June the garden looked great -- and pictures of it now will inspire envy in anyone who dreams of rich, black soil.

By August, he and his wife had their first child. Things were moving fast. In adekun's japan blog, he writes about the progress of the garden since then, about interesting vegetables, and about Japan in general and the Chūgoku region, where he lives, in particular.

For you techies, Adekun has a helpful post on changing the language in Google's new Chrome browser, an easy way to peruse websites in an unfamiliar language.

Japanese Garden is called the diary of an amateur gardener’s vegetable patch in Kisarazu City, Japan, on the other side of Tokyo Bay from the capital. This ex-naval architect's plot is small, but he uses all of its potential, growing everything from eggplant to okra.

I was fascinated reading his recent posts about a visit to the US. Just we often marvel about gardens and plants in other countries, it's fun -- and instructive -- to look at your own country's gardens through someone else's eyes.

Now, let's head back to Europe and drop in on two female gardeners.

Cores da Terra is in Portugal. And the first thing you want to do when you arrive is click on the word Translate on the right side of the screen just under the banner (and under where it says Automatic English translation).

"Jardineira apprentice" writes about Mediterranean gardening, trying to identify an unusual butterfly, and other everyday events of gardening. The photographs are a real reason to visit, though. Especially the close-ups. They are true works of art.

Since 2003 an Englishwoman has been creating a garden out of an old orchard, a barley field, and a building site on the windy coast of southern Andalucia, Spain. She writes about her experiences in Costa de la Luz Gardening.

"Lady Luz," who's actively retired, writes about gardens she visits when traveling, planting citrus trees, and "Christmas tomatoes!" (Hers is a climate in which she can plant peas, celery, broccoli, and onions in November. Wouldn't that be grand?)

There's something very peaceful about dropping in on Lady Luz's corner of Spain. I'm often reluctant to leave and keep poking around among the older posts.

But it's always fun to revisit these gardeners in other places and catch up with their lives and their gardens. Join us again next week as we make four more garden friends.

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