Monday, October 25, 2004

Here's Another Purple Flower to Brighten Your Day

One of the (many) things that has always intrigued me about Japan is the way it has always seemed to be so compartmentalized. It seems that there is a particular location specializing in just about anything you'd want. For example, there is a large street in Tokyo on which almost every store sells sports equipment or sports-related items. Go one block over and you're in Jimbo-Cho, an area filled with new and used book stores. Go up the street a ways, and you're in Ochanomizu, where almost all the shops offer new or used musical intruments, music accessories, music media, music books, music lessons, or music recording studios.

I once visited the town of Naka-Furano in Hokkaido. While I was there, I stood gazing out at several dozen (if not several hundred) square kilometers of purple fields while standing in a store that sold items that were all purple.

Welcome to the lavender capital of Japan...if not the world.

In addition to being beautiful, the lavender is a very useful plant. It contains natural odor absorbers, making it a good natural air-purifier, which is why it has been a standard of potpourri for centuries. Its fragrance, said to have a calming effect, is a standard of the aromatherapy industry. Its oil, in addition to being useful for making natural soaps and candles, can be used to treat insect bites and sores. It is a fragrant and tasty herb that is popular in herbal teas and flavorings. It can be used in a wide variety of cooking as a delightful alternative to a number of established culinary herbs, producing an exotic flavor that is tangy but delicately floral.

It's also purple.

Lavenders are small flowers that are fairly easy to grow, almost like weeds, really, though in my experience they can die off quickly if not given proper treatment. They don't do well in soil that is too moist; they actually seem to prefer sandy or chalky soil as they are actually a mountain herb. They're a good flower to plant in gravelly or dusty areas, such as on the fringes of driveways. They also make a good addition to an herb garden.


Anonymous said...

Joel Hammock:

... but not green!

Anonymous said...

Sergeant Destroy:

Hey, I thought you were in the Army! What's your beef with green?

Besides, I thought you purged yourself of the Colorman demon...and also, strangely, your name...

Anonymous said...

The Colorman:

Right you are, Corporal Punishment! Or was that Private Enterprise? Colonel O'Kourn? Major Blunder? General Confusion? Captain Bottled? Lieutenant Twenty? Commodore Sikztivor? Admiral Bull?


I'm!!! I'm not physical!!!!

Anonymous said...

... and then he turned into a cabbage.

Yoda: Hey! A cabbage not you are?

Luke: Shaddup Yoda

[Luke climbs into the spaceship and realizing he left his keys on the ground, attempts to climb back out]


Ktck ktck ktck. I can't....

Ktck ktck ktck I can't get out!

Um, flowers? Lucious meat eating flowers.... Mmmmmm.


Anonymous said...

Philrod Piddlewaif:

You're silly...and totally inconsequential.