the move–from Japan to India

The title of the blog should be changed since I am now in India; but for a while I’ll continue to report on the status in Japan as well.

I made the move from Japan to India at the beginning of March because of family circumstances. The move essentially means a switch from square foot gardening to container gardening. Let me continue with where I had left off at my last post while in Japan.

Around the middle of January, I had harvested broccoli, coriander and while I was away to India, my neighbors reported that they had harvested and consumed the cabbages too.






New sturdy fencing

I had also torn down the old fence, got hold of sturdy bamboo, cut them to the right size and fixed new fencing increasing the growing area by two more plots.

At this juncture, I was devastated by the passing away of my beloved elder sister in India, and I took the decision to move to India to take care of my elderly mother. In the first week of March, I bid goodbye to my office garden, and to all my neighbors and friends in Japan, and set off for Bangalore, India.

It is now a switch from growing in a field to growing in containers! I have started a small garden in one of my balconies of my second story apartment.

Before I proceed to container gardening, I must mention that Bangalore in the southern part of India, is ideally suited to growing various flowers and vegetables and is often called the garden city of India. Here are a few scenes of a park near my house where I go early mornings to work out lightly and do some Yoga.


Path for walking/jogging bordered by old trees and numerous flowering bushes


The park has numerous trees with purple, pink and yellow flowers – one such tree bearing purple flowers which I presume is jacaranda


Tree with yellow flowers probably the laburnum near the children’s park located within the large park

My early morning workout in this park is invigorating and refreshes me every day.


I made a start by visiting a nursery close by and purchasing some flowering plants, pots, soil, compost and some fertilizer – could not find vermiculite, perlite – soil was red in color and very fine; I added some vermi-compost to it and tried to make it a little coarse. Repotted some of the flowering plants that were extremely cheap compared to Japan, but were grown in very poor soil and poorly maintained.


The start – Gardenia, Hibiscus and Curry Leaf plant in my balcony


Geranium and jasmine (mogra – the Belle of India)

I am a fanatic collector of sweet scented flowers and picked the jasmine the moment I saw it.

Repotted it and I look forward to lots of flowers.


Flower seeds from Japan

Although I have no idea whether seeds from Japan generally grown there in spring will give rise to seedlings or not, I planted four varieties of seeds – Periwinkle, Dragonsnap, Helichrysum and Globosa. Time will tell, I guess.


Four planted varieties


Moved the flowering plants immediately to the framework in the balcony to make full use of the abundant sunshine.

The hibiscus responded immediately by blooming immediately.

The gardenia plant below the soil had roots that had packed up so densely that it was like a rock. I had to pummel it with a hammer to loosen the soil and cut away most of the dead roots. I repotted the gardenia in new soil mixed with compost; can’ say the new soil is good but at least it should give a fresh lease of life to the poor Gardenia.

I should have pummeled the person looking after the Gardenia instead!



Plants moved to balcony framework




Hibiscus in bloom

I’m likely to add some margolds and grow some radish seeds in the near future. Until the next post, have a great day!

10 Responses to “the move–from Japan to India”

  1. March 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I read your blog regularly follow it on my reader. My condolences for the bereavement in your family. Welcome back to India. I am sure you will have a great time growing plants in your balcony here. This part of the year is the best for blooming plants in Bangalore. All the best. Time for me to move your blog from my ‘international gardens’ to ‘India Gardens’ folder.

    • April 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      Hi Natti, thanks for writing. Yes, I’ll be an India gardener for the time being; will be making frequent trips to Japan too, and will report from there too. Thanks for your warm message.

  2. March 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Very sorry to hear about your sister.
    I hope your garden blooms here as well. In India, it’s a little harder to get garden supplies, but I think the garden-friendly weather all through the year makes up for that. Here in Chennai, simple things like a spade and garden gloves are sometimes so hard to find. But then, the sun is always shining throughout the year. And that’s what plants really care about.

    • April 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm

      Hi Anita, thanks for your comment. Yes, it is very difficult to get supplies; but the weather is conducive to growing whatever one likes! I’m finding less time to devote to gardening because I have taken up cooking! Have a nice day!

  3. 5 malini
    March 30, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Hi Sir,
    Really sorry to know about your loss.
    Iam a regular reader of your very interesting blog and always finds it exciting and useful.Learnt a lot from it.Thanx for that.
    Welcome to Bangalore.Iam in Bangalore too.I too have a small garden in my apartment.
    I wish you a great start with your garden here.looking forward to read lots more.

    • April 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      Hello Malini,
      Thanks for your kind words. I’m not finding too much of time to spend on my beloved hobby – I think it will take off when other domestic issues are sorted out. Have a nice day!

  4. 7 KL
    June 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I didn’t know Bangalore is known as garden city. You have moved from Japan to India and that’s why I guess your blog was not updated for a long time. I was also away from this blog-world due to ill health and an operation. Your balcony seems to have netting; how did the monkeys still manage to grab the plant? I have also planted lots of rajanigandha; hopefully, they will bloom soon.

    • June 2, 2012 at 1:56 am

      Hi KL, sorry to know that you have been unwell. Since you are now posting, I presume you are back on you feet and hope you will recover fully very quickly. Yes, I have various other commitments in Japan that restrict time spent on gardening in B’lore. Wikipedia also has this entry for Bangalore: “Bangalore /also rendered Bengaluru, is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore is nicknamed the Garden City for its gardens and parks and was once called a pensioner’s paradise.”
      The monkeys sit on the ledge and insert their little paws through the netting! They hae stopped coming these days because all the mangoes in the tree adjacent to the balcony are gone. Happy gardening and take care!

  5. 9 pratik
    November 12, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Hi there,nice to see such a good blog from India.I live in navi mumbai and share ur passion of balcony gardening.can u pls advise on the soil type required by the mogra and curry leaf?my mogra is giving a lot of leaves…but no buds(probably coz its winter now)and curry leaf doesnt seem to grow.from where can i get the black soil mogra needs?wat can i do to make curry plant cum back to life and fluorish.thnks,nice plants u got.

    • November 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Hello Pratik; I find that the soil sold in nurseries in India lacking in nutrition. I have bought a 10 kg bag of Vermicompost, and a 25 kg of Cocopeat. I generally mix the common soil (which is red soil in BLR) with Vermi compost and Cocopeat before transplanting to a new larger pot. I also place about a spoonful of fertilizer (round small balls with a high value of N-P-K) every 15 days. I cannot check and give you the name now since I’m in Delhi at the moment. My plants seem to be doing very well in BLR. Note that the plants need some nutrition other than just watering them every day and exposing them to the sun. Of course, you need to prune them also from time to time and remove dead leaves and flowers regularly. Hope this is of some help.

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