Nara, Japan


Kasuga-jinja (or Kasuga-taisha) Sanctuary and wisteria, Nara, Japan, Spring 1926, by Roger Dumas, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine (all three photos here).

The Shinto shrine (first built in 768 A.D.) is famous for its thousands of bronze and stone lanterns. It is located on the edge of Nara Park, home to freely roaming deer said to be messengers of the gods.

Temple of lanterns, Japan, A68700X, Musee Albert-Kahn, Archives de la Planete

The autochromes above are three of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker and pacifist, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”* The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the above photos (A 70 757 X, A 70 758 X, A 68 700 X) are © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.

In a vase on Monday: red, yellow, orange

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Supermarket tulips, sweet woodruff, and some other little weed wildflower from behind our fence, as well as golden spirea leaves from the flower bed.

To see what other gardeners have put in a vase today, please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden. She hosts this Monday theme.

Happy May Day!

In a vase on Monday: red tulips, blue pot

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I have a new old salt-glazed pottery crock from the Stuttgart Saturday flea market — just the right size for a supermarket bouquet of tulips.

The market always has a lot of these pretty blue and grey pots, which were made in the Westerwald* region of Germany and range in size from egg cup to several liters.  They are very affordable: normally about €5 to €12 for those big enough to hold kitchen utensils. I haven’t found anything particularly useful online about how to assess their age. The woman who sold me this one pointed out the circular ridges on its bottom as an indication that it was “very old.”  But I’ve seen other pots labeled “antique” (late 19th century) on websites that have smooth bottoms. I think you just have to look for a pleasing pattern and patina combination.

To see what other garden bloggers have put in vases today, please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.


*between Bonn and Frankfurt.

In a vase on Monday: yellow and pink

In a Vase on Mondays 1, Aug. 1, enclos*ureThis weekend, I made two arrangements with roses, spirea, and hydrangea — all from our yard.

In a Vase on Mondays 2, Aug. 1, enclos*ure

I like red and pink together, but I find dark red so difficult to photograph. It just swallows all the light.

In a Vase on Mondays 22, Aug. 1, enclos*ure
I put the yellow arrangement on the coffee table.

In a Vase on Mondays 25, Aug. 1, enclos*ure

That orange rose is the only one that’s fragrant.

To see what other garden bloggers have put in vases today, please visit Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.