Follow Your Heart: The Green-haired Gardener
Aoki Mariko is a young gardener in Nagai City, Yamagata Prefecture, in northeast Japan. Her garden soothes the hearts of many people with its beautiful seasonal vista. We follow her daily life to find out how she is able to create gardens that people can live in and enjoy. (This program was broadcast on May 4, 2021.)
Aoki Mariko was propelled to fame in 2018, when she won the grand prize in one of the largest gardening contests in Japan. She gets about 10 requests a year to create gardens.
In her spare time, she experiments tirelessly in her own garden. She examines things like how plants spread their roots or how she can bring out their innate strength. She’s planted over 1,000 seedlings here.
Her gardens are known for requiring little maintenance. The key lies in the selection of plants. The ones she chooses are perennial plants. They are not particularly striking on their own, but they bloom every year without any help from people.