Our Slice of Tokyo

Sweet Peas and Edible Greens from the Fourth Floor

This time of the year is hard for all of us. With the coronavirus dominating globally, we all feel like fish inside a glass bowl. Going outside is limited to running some errands like buying food or finding a roll of toilet paper.

Instead of catching up with travels from previous weeks or months, I would like to share updates from our balcony garden. Over the years since I moved here in Nishi-Kasai in 2012, my garden skills have somehow improved from a mere admirer to a pot gardener.

Flower Pots and Vegetable Boxes

Our space is a typical Japanese mansion unit. Here in Japan, a mansion would mean a high-rise residential building consists of 2-3 bedroom units with kitchen/dining room, living room, toilet and bathroom. Our garden is located on our balcony which is a linear strip space mainly intended for hanging the laundry. Due to limited space and weight restrictions, my plants are all in pots mostly from 100-yen stores and home depot center.

My First Year of Balcony Gardening

Every year, I try to add something new to experiment and challenge myself – to see if I learn from scrolling garden magazines online. I started with realizing my dream to have an herb garden. One year our garden is pink. And little by little, I started growing my own salads and veggies.

Pink Blooms for Early Spring

A Handful of Mulberries in Summer

With numerous failed attempts to grow something my seeds, I tried to grow some sweet peas, kale, dill, basil and tomatoes for this year. Recent weeks have been a challenge with warm winter, sudden cold wind, and rainy days. Fortunately the seed planting was a success!

Come spring, we enjoyed pulling sweet pea pods from its vines. We also have some fresh Kale leaves. And every other day, we get to have freshly-cut salad for dinner.

Sweet Peas Ready for Harvest

Fresh Salad Leaves for Dinner

Our Flower Garden at Present

Our Edible Garden This Year

Our Spring in a Pot

Another new this year is our spring pot. Back in 2015, I planted some tulip bulbs with the hope of a colorful tulip bed similar to the photos on the Internet. Sadly from 10 or so bulbs, only one grew and bloomed. It was only this year that I tried again. In a medium-size pot are tulip and crocus bulbs. Come mid-February, a yellow crocus popped beautifully. Slowly, tulips in yellow, salmon pink, and purple followed. It is like an Ikebana arrangement in a pot.

Blue Velvets Blooming

First for Crocus Flowers

Tulips on Our Balcony

With how things progress, staying at home seems to be prolonged up to when, nobody knows. For now, let our homes serve as our sanctuary. Keep safe everyone!

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