These tulips are amazing, and I love how appear to fill the living room window from outside. I also love that I planted these and some winter lettuces in February, and I’ve gotten two different uses out of one flowerpot.
This double planting features winter leaf vegetables and spring tulips. There’s red leaf lettuce, mizuna, and shungiku, an edible chrysanthemum. My mother-in-law reports that the balcony shungiku tastes “better than Rainbow Grocery vegetables in San Francisco.” I found the leaf vegetables at the Aoyama UN Farmers market stall that sells heirloom starter plants for 100 yen.
Two tone flowers and variegated leaves make these tulips very extravagant. I also like how the seller reinforces the idea that they were flown or shipped from the Netherlands. I was amazed to find these “Top Lips” tulips at the local home center.
Some garden purists insist on growing from seed or bulb. I don’t mind mixing up seeds, starters, and buds. With the small space of a 4 square meter balcony, it’s nice to let the nurseries do some of the preparation so we can enjoy more variety and color.
With the recent warm weather, these giant pink peonies went quickly from bud to giant pink balls. On one of the lanes I take from my apartment to the JR, I pass this humble apartment whose front garden spills in pots from the tiny patio onto the small street.
I often see an older woman and sometimes her daughter working in the garden they have created from recycled styrofoam containers and assorted plastic pots. Cymbidium orchids, tulips, geraniums, peonies, and soon roses create a wonderful distraction for passers-by. The owner is at once extremely humble and pleased to get some attention.
To get a sense of the background of the flowers, here’s a photo from further away. You can see the patio flowers share space with the laundry machine and a simple structure for hanging the clothes to dry. The flowers provide a small buffer between street and front door, and soften the hard edges of concrete, asphalt and tile.