Daffodils, violas, camelias, peaches, beans, curry leaf plants and potatoes

The title just about sums up the topics I’m going to cover in this post.

Isn’t spring wonderful? New leaves and buds seem to be sprouting up everywhere, flowers bloom and there’s a nip in the air! Here’s a camelia that bloomed and gladdened my heart!


Camelia – as perfect as perfect can be!


The peach tree I planted last autumn rewarded me with lovely pink flowers.

Here’s one of them:


The peach flower in all its glory!


And then of course the daffodils. They stand tall, erect and elegant. The first ones bloomed last week. Here’s one:


Daffodil – pretty enough to make you reach for the Wordsworth poem!

And the violas too, which were slightly dull in winter have suddenly perked up in a rash. Take a look:


A rash of violas!

I still have clover, rapeseed and geraniums waiting to bloom in the next few days. My cup of joy filleth over!

On the veggie front too, I started a new sprout project. Made use of plastic bottles – cut them in the middle and used the lower halves to grow sprouts and the upper halves to cover seeds in the garden, give some warmth and prevent birds from eating them.


Tools for sprouts

Tools used for planting sprouts

I immersed alfafa and radish seeds in water overnight. In the morning, I spread vermiculite to cover the base of the recycled plastic containers, wetted the vermiculite by mist, and evenly spread out the seeds on top of the vermiculite.

Covered sprout containers

Next, I covered the containers with aluminum foil – I had hoped to use aluminum foil on all three containers but our kitchen ran out of foil, so I used pamphlets (junk mail) that came inserted in the newspaper. I hope to keep these seeds covered for 3 to 4 days until they grow to a reasonable height and then open them up to the sunlight, naturally after spraying them with water everyday.

I was also happy to see potato seedlings finally making their appearance! This is the first time I have planted potatoes. However I found the seedlings coming out of unexpected locations in the squares of my square foot garden!


 Cabbages, broccoli, lettuce

Potato seedlings                             Cabbages, broccoli – healthy growth

The other veggies such as cabbages, broccoli, lettuce are also doing well. The warm weather makes all the difference, I guess.

I planted beans (the climbing variety) in another bed and marked out the location where I planted the seeds with sticks. Soon as I have enough recycled plastic bottles, I’ll remove the sticks and cover the seeds with the necks of the plastic bottles.

Beans and edamame


Bed with 5 x 2 squares

Four squares with climbing beans and one square containing the leftover radish seedlings can be seen in the left row of squares. To the right, I planted edamame (soya beans) and covered them with the top half of a plastic bottle, which will serve to keep the soil around the seeds moist and warm, as well as protect the seeds from being eaten by birds. I have also put up nets along the wall to take up the beans as they creep up.



Finally, here is a photo showing two rows of radish seedlings per square. These are the fastest growing vegetables, and I should be able to harvest them in about a month from now.


And lastly, the curry leaf cuttings that I had brought with me from India are still fighting to keep alive! When I brought them, it was midwinter here in Japan. Spring has finally come and most are still alive as far as I can see. I am desperately hoping that at least a few will make it up to summer and hot weather in which these plants thrive. Here is a photo of a surviving curry leaf cutting (plastic cover removed – keeping my fingers crossed!):


Until the next post, happy gardening and have a great day!

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13 Responses to “Daffodils, violas, camelias, peaches, beans, curry leaf plants and potatoes”

  1. April 4, 2009 at 10:07 am

    You have so many pretty thing blooming right now! It’s funny I thought the exact same thing about the Wordsworth poem when my daffodils started blooming! Good luck on rooting your curry leaf cuttings. I’ve wanted to try that also, but haven’t had a chance to go to the market in Nashville that might have them.

  2. April 4, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks for stopping by. Lucky you! I think curry leaf plants can be bought here in Japan only in July. If none of the cuttings make it up to summer, I’ll probably order for one on the Internet.

  3. April 10, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Woo-hoo! I’m happy to see the Curry Leaf doing well! I don’t know why I am so intrigued by it, but hearing about the curry leaf’s progress has become like a reality show for me! :o)

    Your Camelia is gorgeous!

  4. April 10, 2009 at 11:40 am

    First thing I do every morning is to check the health of the curry leaf plants – they seem to be holding on, but I don’t know for how long! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. 5 KevinK
    April 13, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Hi, just wondering if you’ve ever grown edamame? We’re heading into autumn down this end of the planet, but it should be just about planting time up there.
    Kevin (a J-E translator also into yoga and just getting started with vege growing)

    • April 13, 2009 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Kevin,
      Yes, I have grown edamame in the past, but always after planting the seeds in plastic pots and then transplanting them. For the first time, I’m trying to grow them straight in the ground (the photos in the blog with the top of the plastic bottles are those for edamame). I planted the seeds and covered them with the top halves of PET bottles but I have not seen success yet. I’ll wait for a few more days. The beans I planted adjacent to the edamame have already sprouted.

  6. 7 KevinK
    April 15, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    I hope the edamame come up OK. It would be good to see some photos if they do. I’ve been wanting to grow them for some time, but I’ve had difficulty finding seeds for them in Australia.

  7. April 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Kevin, the edamame seed planting starts in the beginning of May in our area. I planted seeds beginning of April, which was too early. I’ll be replanting them in May. Should you need seeds I can buy and post a packet to you.

  8. 9 JC
    May 16, 2009 at 6:01 am

    It’s my first visit to your blog. It’s fun reading about how your garden is growing. It’s so much fun to plant vegie. I wish I have more land to plant vegie too. Recently started to plant chilly and brinjal in my garden. Cross my fingers that they would do well.

    • May 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks for stopping by. You can even grow vegetables like mini tomato, green peas, capsicum in large containers in your balcony if garden space is restricted! Best of luck on your brinjal and chilli plants.

  9. 11 Susan
    July 8, 2009 at 1:08 am

    Dear sir
    i happened to chance upon your blog while searching for plumbago. In fact, this is about your experiment with curry plant or rather curry leaves…

    i am from South India and I used to grow curry plants.. To be honest I had a large curry plant and every rainy season brought small plants around the mother plant…

    These had sprouted from the seeds which fell from the big plant… yes curry plants has small cluster like seeds which are green at first and later become purple..In fact, local story states that you should always steal a small curry plant without the owner’s permission, then it will thrive in your garden…

    next time when you are traveling to India, try to get the seeds for growing the curry plant…

    best of luck ..

  10. 12 Emily
    March 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Hi there, just stumbled upon your lovely blog as I was searching for the name of the Camelia I have growing in my front yard. Yours appears to be the same! Do you happen to know the name of it? I would like to purchase a couple more to have a hedge of camelias. Thank you.

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