Saturday, June 11, 2005

Garden Report - June 2005 -

Dill looks OK, but maybe it is not a good idea to have it in the same planter with basil…??

My balcony garden in June:
Some are doing real good, some are just OK…

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Japanese Pepper (Sansho)
A newcomer to my balcony garden purchased at the Sunday Market last weekend. According to the tag that was attached, this is supposed to be the kind that yields fruit. That’s what I had been looking for for a long time! The green fruits of sansho are so fragrant and you can mix them with dried baby sardines, season with soy sauce and other seasonings, mix into cooked white rice and make very tasty onigiri (rice balls). The lady who sold this to me said this may not start fruiting this year, though. Mmmmm… how many years would I have to wait until I make my dream onigiri….?

My parsley is just doing fine. I always hated buying a bunch of parsley and using only part of it and wasting the rest. Soon I will be able to pick just as much as I need each time from this planter. No more waisting :)

Look! Blueberries!
Well, don’t ask me how many berries my “sunshine blue” has now… Looks like not many bees visited my balcony garden this spring. Most of the flowers just turned brown and fell, and that was it. I’d be really lucky if I would be able to pick 5 or 6 berries this year.

Rhubarb, Rosemary and scallion.
My rhubarb is definitely doing much better than last year. It was only about 5 cm tall in July last year, and couldn’t survive the heat in summer. This year I transplanted my rhubarb to a bigger planter in May and used fertilizer-mixed soil. Looks like it’s working. My rosemary is doing just fine, too.

Myoga ginger
The one that’s growing much better than I expected is this myoga ginger. There is a place near my parents' veg. garden where bunch of wild myoga grows. I dug up a few roots from there last winter, brought them back to my apartment and planted them in this pot. They say myoga can grow in a shade and needs little sunshine, but I was skeptical, so the way it is now is almost surprising to me. Can’t wait to see its lovely flower buds!


Anonymous said...


The balcony garden looks good! I couldn't wait for the weekend so I paid the price at work today. Is the sansho a sweet pepper or a spicy one? Don't forget to show us the myoga ginger when the flowers bud.  

Posted by kyle

Anonymous said...

Hello Obachan, and greetings from Finland! I wonder, do you have the latin name for Sansho? I happened to visit a big garden center today, and found a plant called Japanese pepper, with very Sanho like leaves. I would be very happy to get a confirmation to if it is the right Japanese pepper. And I wonder, what kind of soil mix do you have in your containers, it's looking wonderfully coarse. 

Posted by Maud

Anonymous said...

The herbs are looking good. Its always so nice to be able to go out on the balcony and pick herbs for dinner. I'm surprised you get rhubarb to grow in a container. We always had it growing in the corner of the yard and it did so well.  

Posted by carlyn

Anonymous said...

> kyle --- Thank you. Sansho is a spicy one. Have you had unagi (eel) with some kind of ground pepper sprinkled on it? That’s sansho pepper.
I’ll make sure to show you the myoga flower buds when they come out ;) (Would they???)

> Maud --- Welcome to my blog! :D I think the Latin name for sansho pepper is Zanthoxylum piperitum. See this page . Looks like it’s sometimes spelled Xanthoxylum.
The soil in my containers was from a nearby shop. Sorry, I have no idea what kind of soil it is…just a non-expensive, generic one. I assume they sell rather coarse soil around here because it is so hot and humid and the roots would rot if the soil doesn’t have a good drainage.

> carlyn --- Well, maybe the rhubarb needs to be transplanted to somewhere else soon… like the shade in my dad’s orchard where it is cooler in summer. Looks like the heat and the humidity here is getting too much for the plant. 

Posted by obachan