Home gardening in Tokyo can be a bit challenging. There is not much areas for open spaces. Like any other city, land is a scarce resource in Tokyo. Open spaces are mostly alloted for public facilities like parks, zoos, and baseball fields. Most of the people live in medium or high-rise buildings known as mansions. The only open space one could have is a narrow strip of balcony intended for drying clothes.
Since my first year here in Tokyo, I tried to have some green space in our home to break the monotonous picture of bricks and stones. The first year of home gardening was a year of trial and error as I try to discover which type of plant would be suitable and resilient enough to survive the urban heat in summer and the coldness of winter. Later on as more plants last for more than one season, I started to add more elements like a small pond and some flowers to give some life to my small garden.
Last autumn, I again added something new in my garden. Aside from the herbs, I also tried to plant some vegetables. Vegetables and herbs are a bit expensive here so it would be great if I can get fresh ones for free from my garden. And again, I was back to my trial and error phase especially for my cucumbers. I needed to sacrifice some young plants before I was able to have a one strong one that can bear fruits. I also planted a mulberry and some tomatoes which generously gave fruits for us to munch almost everyday.
And to add a little challenge to my home gardening escapade, I planted some strawberries. I also wanted to have a patch of strawberries in my garden but I was not brave enough to have them because I know that they are quite delicate to take care of. After a few weeks, I was fortunate to have three small fruits. Not bad for the first try! Unfortunately, we were only able to taste one because the birds ate the two which turned red first.
Home Gardening’s Small Wonders
It goes without a saying that nature has its own way of creating wonderful things. True enough, letting my garden work on its own has some small wonders. The aloe vera plant which has been in our balcony even before we arrived here has recently bloomed. I was surprised one morning when I saw a bright orange flower towering proud greeting the bright sun.
Also, there was a big pink rose which bloomed in early autumn.
And despite the crazy temperature and changing climate early this year, we now have our first Sakura (cherry blossoms)! Winter is a bit warm during the first week of January but just last week, the temperature decreased dramatically with some snow and cold rain. I was a bit scared that the buds will be destroyed. Luckily, the warm sun these past few days helped the flowers bloom beautifully.
Similarly, the Daphne is also about to bloom soon. I just hope that it would also survive the crazy winter season.