May 17, 13 | Takako Chiba
"Ueno Farm" - Views only available in Hokkaido!
"Ueno Farm" was opened in 1906 by a Miyagi born farmer and has passed from generation to generation for years. It is located just a 30 minute drive from the train station of the second largest city in Hokkaido, Asahikawa.
When the farm began to sell rice directly to consumers they used the concept "Farm to Charm" meaning that when customers would visit to pick up their product, they would be greeted with a clean area made for hospitality. This was achieved in part by planting flowers along the roadside and footpaths in the farm.
▲Mother's Garden (in June). This is where the first flowers were planted.
▲In September Mother's Garden features entirely new blooms.
However, when Yuki Ueno, the eldest daughter, went to Great Britain to study gardening the style changed completely. She was shocked at the style of English gardening she found and, without even knowing the names of the flowers she was seeing, she knew she wanted to bring the style back home. She devoted more and more of her time to gardening.
▲Pulmonaria, which blooms in May.
After returning to Japan, Yuki was given her own field to start a garden.
After completing her English style garden, visitors flocked from nearby Asahikawa and beyond to visit. In just one season she received over 50,000 visitors!
Now that Hokkaido has finally broken free of the cold weather spell, all the flowers in the garden have begun to open at once.
Although elsewhere flowers tend to bloom at defined times depending on their species, here in Hokkaido things are a bit different. The winters here are so long that once warm weather comes all the plants sprout and reach up for precious sunlight at the same time.
Currently Ueno Farm is going through this period of frantic growth, and even the wild Ezo Engosaku, located on the slopes of nearby Mt. Shatekiyama, have begun to blossom with a light blue color.
▲The Ezo Engosaku flowers.
Shatekiyama Mountain's floral features change throughout the season.
▲Narcissus bloom in May
When the tulips begin to bloom the atmosphere gets quite cheerful!
In June the trees in the area begin to take on a radiant glow. This is the time when the Lupine springs into full bloom.
July marks the stat of rose blooming season, along with many other flowers. The garden is soon overflowing with beautiful sights and smells.
▲Gradations of violet on the "Purple Walk" road.
▲These perennial plants are arranged in a symmetrical pattern on the "Mirror Boarder" road.
In August and September the forms and colors around Ueno Farm change once again reflecting the seasonal sense of the garden.
If you do get a chance to visit Ueno Farm, be sure to try this out: stand in the center of the garden, close your eyes, and just listen.
The sound of leaves of the many plants surrounding you moving in the wind are the soft voices of the garden itself, and the scent of the damp earth and wonderful flowers is an important part of Hokkaido life.
The garden is too beautiful to fully capture in just photos so, if you get the chance, be sure to stop by and take a pleasent walk through Ueno Farm.
■上野ファーム (Ueno Farm)
■Ueno Farm on facebook
(186 16-Chome, Nagayama-cho, Asahikawa)
●The garden is open from late April to early October.
※Cafe open all year.
●Garden hours: 10:00 to 5:00
●Closed on Mondays.(The garden remains open every day during the season.)
●Garden admission: Adult-500 Yen, Elementary School age or younger-Free.
※For more information visit the home page.
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)
All photographs are courtesy of Ueno Farm.