The Edo morning glory doesn’t have a long season like the perennial Okinawa version. You can see this bloom is already starting to wither.
This year’s green curtain is filling in. Already leafing out are the perennial Okinawa morning glory, jasmine, and a pink rose. The kanamemochi (photina) bush is about 1.5 meters tall, and brings the garden right up to the sliding glass kitchen doors.
This angle gives you a good sense of the balcony green curtain. By now, it’s very thick and composed of several vines. The Okinawa morning glory is the most vigorous.
Early in the day, this Okinawa morning glory is a deep blue with lots of large blooms. I like how by afternoon, the flowers turn pink as they wilt.
In mid-summer, the morning glory provides color, shade, and privacy on my one meter wide (3 feet) apartment balcony. The smaller jasmine leaves provide a nice contrast. Also on my green curtain are Edo morning glory (vs the Okinawa one above) and cucumber.
Fall is beautiful in Tokyo.
I am a big fan of Okinawa morning glory and Edo morning glory. The Edo ones typically have a white border and stripes, and come in many colors. They’re very showy, a good size for domestic spaces, and they evoke Tokyo history. The Okinawa morning glory is a deep blue perennial, and quickly spreads and covers much more space. Both share a distinctive leaf shape.
Every morning, lots of Okinawa morning glories are blooming on our balcony, and the green curtain is filling out. Unlike Edo morning glory plants, Okinawa morning glories are perennial. This year is the third summer we’ve had this deep blue flower. By noon, the flowers are already wilting.
Because of energy conservation, we haven’t used the air conditioning yet this year. Also, by not using the air conditioning, there’s more space for me to enjoy the balcony garden.
These are two views of my balcony green curtain. I purposely trained the Okinawa morning glory to create a grid pattern on top of the string net. Last year it flowered into late September. My green curtain is not as lush as this amazing house’s green curtain with nine species. Below you can see a side view with the Shinjuku skyscrapers in the distance. In addition to the morning glory, there’s cucumber and watermelon growing on the railing and net.
Our balcony’s Okinawa morning glory has started to bloom again. Unlike the variegated Japanese morning glories, this one is perennial.
Typhoon #18 last week knocked down our twine trellis. It’s a good thing that our friend warned us to prepare the garden for the gusty wind: bringing some plants inside, and placing others on the balcony floor closest to the building. We easily rehung the Okinawa morning glory, and I was amazed that this late-in-the-season bitter melon survived intact.
On our balcony, this Okinawa morning glory is just now flowering. All but one of the four Japanese morning glories have died back. The Okinawa morning glory is a vivid “crystal blue,” whereas the Japanese ones are variegated. The Okinawa flowers and leaves are larger, growth vigorous, and best of all the tag claims it is a perennial.
Last Wednesday was the first official day of fall, so the wind charm has been packed away. New fall flowers include fujibakama, cosmos and a “fairy white” daisy.
Here’s what the Okinawa morning glory looks like when the bud is one day from opening. The flower lasts just one day, but each bud is in a cluster of three to six, and there are many forming this month.