Our evolving garden
Yamada-san is our gardener. In fact, he is the gardener of every garden in our neighborhood. Here, in a Tokyo suburb, most people have what we call a garden, even if it is only as large as the top of a card table. People living in Tokyo proper don't have a garden, just as people in living in Manhattan. It is impossible.
Yamada-san visits our garden once or twice a year to spend a day trimming and tidying up. He advises us on how things are coming along.
When he first visited us five years ago, just after we had moved into our new house, he spent several days planting bushes and trees and vines that would eventually climb up the back wall. He was looking ahead to what he wants our garden to look like in twenty years.
"It's coming along nicely," he told us on his last visit. "Just make sure the pines have plenty of water, particularly in the summer."
We know we've edged into a new season of the year when Yamada-san comes by to spend the day clipping outgrowths, raking up pine needles, and massaging the moss.