As I’ve joked before, Tokyo has more than its share of strange building names, which seem to only increase in senselessness with the poshness of the neighborhood. I’ve ridiculed Movements, Zesty Minami-Koenji, Decent, and one of my favorites Cram Place.
This is a lovely modern apartment tower, lots of exterior raw concrete, beautiful balconies and views, a kindergarden on the ground floor, near good restaurants and mature trees, a place I would love to live in.
Yet, passing that name every day would be too much, right? “Selfista” reminds me of too English words: selfish, and self-fister which sounds like the master of an extreme sexual practice.
My tulips are in full bloom on the balcony garden. I planted them underneath my winter pansies. Below is a common bulb called Ipheion that I planted in one of my small flower pots.
Spring comes slowly in Tokyo. Here’s the husband enjoying a rare bit of sun on our balcony. You can see my ceramics and the city views from the 10th floor.
Our south-facing balcony continues to be warm and full of sun. I’ve renovated the garden to include a small plant stand by the living room window and several boxes hanging on the railing. The eleven flower pots that weren’t sold are the stars of the garden.
Some of my new plants include winter pansies and kale, grown on top of spring tulip bulbs. Also, a rose from our friend K. And a cool moss-ball, bonsai pine tree from I.
The husband bought three bulbs and placed them on top of a plate on the balcony a few weeks ago. No dirt, no water. He said they would make saffron. Honestly, I didn’t believe these dry-looking bulbs would do anything. In a matter of two days, they suddenly sprouted and bloomed. We harvested the red stems.
Have you ever seen or tried growing saffron?
It’s fall in Tokyo: occasional rain, ginko fruit on the ground (and nuts eaten as bar food), appearance of fall fashion (woolens, baby leg warmers, lots of red-and-black), desserts with chestnuts. And I got this great deal on a Saipan lemon tree with three ripe green lemons (about $12).
I haven’t found much information online about Saipan lemons. I do know that the fruit stays green on the branches (might turn slightly yellow after harvesting), and that it comes from a tiny island owned by the United States that is vying with Guam for Japanese golf tourists.
The friendly plant guy who sold me the Saipan lemon tree urged me to up-pot it as soon as possible. After checking out what’s commercially available, I’ve decided to make my largest flower pot yet at the ceramic studio. Here it is after the first day of shaping: 30 centimeter in diameter, 10 centimeter in height after Day 1. I’ll work on the shape for 3 to 4 days, and it should reach 30 to 40 centimeters tall. (30 centimeters = 1 foot). Large pots are much more difficult to make. Thanks, senseis for your help!
I am blogging while sitting on my comfy new bean bag (thanks, Muji). Outside the living room window is the beginning of our balcony garden, five plants, including the pink rose house-warming present from wonderful ceramics studio student Ni.
Beyond the flowers are the peachy-pink grill of the balcony, and then the urban jungle of mountains (eleven story neighboring buildings) and deep valleys of two to four buildings extending to other residential and commercial high rise centers. You can see in the photo that we just added a wood boardwalk to the balcony floor.
I am learning the names of my plants in Japanese. From left to right:
1. ばら （桃色）： Rose (pink)
2. クロホシクサ （白色）： Eriocaulon parvum (white)
3. リンド （青い）：Gentiana scabra (blue)
4. ヒューケラマーマレード ：Heuchera marmalade
5. マーガリット （黄色）： Daisy (yellow)