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Dear All,

For those of you who have been following the Shadowlands blog, just a quick note to say things are all going well. The caretaker reported that the tulips and bulbs were beautiful, and that the azaleas (tsutusji) are now over. I’m hoping he can take some pictures of the rhodos when they are in flower so that I can post them.

Here in the UK I’ve been enjoying the gardens of the Cambridge Colleges and recently had a nice ‘tea’ at Trinity Hall – fantastic grounds backing on the river Cam. Not yet been to Hidcote, but still planning to now we have a car.

Been investigating the procedures for exporting seeds to Japan. Of course most of the seeds for common vegs and flowers can be bought in Japan, but the varieties tend to be very limited, so I’m going to be buying a large quantity. Also been investigating green houses to ship back over in March. So, I’m keeping horticulturally busy. I’m also about to volunteer to help at the Cambridge Botanical gardens, which should be nice, and allow me to benefit from seeing a working specimen garden.

I read today that East Anglia is officially under drought conditions which is not surprising given that it has only rained once in Cambridge since we have been here. Such a contrast to the rainy season in Hakone, where we have weeks of steamy rain in the summer and plants grow several inches over night (slight exaggeration perhaps).

Because we are renting for the year here in the UK and not allowed to touch the lawn-only back yard, I’ve done all I can with pots and grow bags, and have a super bean growing and about 15 toms grwon from seed. So far little Louis has only managed to uproot 5 of them. , Sturdy dwarf varieties, and they need to be.

With any luck, job interviews may get me back to Japan for a week or so in July/August, which would be a rather good opportunity to see whether Shadowlands has turned back into a jungle or is thriving. Looking forward to seeing how many of the roses have survived the winter too.

Best wishes,


More blog posts by ptarotuos

Previous post: Spring Arrives at Shadowlands!

Next post: Rhodo in bloom



thanks for the update, glad you are able to be so much part of the cambridge gardens ~ tea in the college must have been lovely ~ quite a priviledge!!
shame to have missed your beautiful plants but hopefully the caretaker will take some photos?
can you take photos of your tomatoes? if your current landlord sees how well you grow things he will be wanting you to stay here!

11 Jun, 2011


I'm sure that you are missing Shadowlands but you seem to be enjoying Cambridge, thanks for the update, I'll look forwards to the photo's...x

11 Jun, 2011


Lovely to hear from you Ptaro, it is a shame you have missed all your flowers blooming but they will be there when you do return, it will be nice if you do get some photo`s.
Does not touching the lawn at your abode mean you don`t have cut it either? mind you if its like mine then it won`t be growing much during this dry weather. Had to smile at your comment about little Louis and your toms, think we have all experienced gardens and our childrens antics over the years, I will admit my grandchidren got away with a lot more than their mummy did, lol,...
Only been to Cambridge once but do remember how beautiful it was, especially as you say near the river, sounds as though you are enjoying your stay and no doubt will get about a lot more now you have transport so enjoy..
Take care.......

11 Jun, 2011


Lovely to hear from you Ptaro. so glad that you are enjoying you stay here, you obviously are keeping busy and I wish you luck with your seed buying etc. Hopefully you might get a bean or two when they ripen and hope Louis enjoys the tomatoes, if they grow!!! Enjoy the rest of your break and take care.

11 Jun, 2011


i was in cambridge yesterday, it is lovely, very busy and such a mixture of culture.

12 Jun, 2011


I'm really behind in reading blogs and have only just now got to this. Great to have an update and to know from your most recent blog that you are to return to Japan for a job interview and a brief visit to Shadowlands before your return to the UK.

You'll be keeping a close eye on those tomatoes; I hope they survive the prying little

I've never visited Cambridge (only via photos!) but it does look a beautiful place...pleased you are able to enjoy all the area has to offer, especially now with your car.

26 Jun, 2011

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