I wrote last year in my diary that one of my hobbies is gardening on my veranda and I am only interested in edible plants, so there are only herbs and vegetables on my veranda.
However, I have to tell that recently there was a little change regarding that.
Now, flowers are propagating on my veranda.
It started around November of last year.
I visited a cyclamen farmhouse at work and bought a small pot of cyclamen.
At first, I was not going to buy it, but my coworker bought one, so I also bought one. This is a traditional custom in Japan called “giri”(social obligation) or “tsukiai.” I am a typical Japanese.
The master of the farmhouse gave me another pot for free, so I have two cyclamen.
I didn’t intend to have a long relationship with them.
I heard that a cyclamen season is short and it’s difficult to make them bloom yearly although it’s a perennial plant.
I only cared for them halfheartedly, thinking that I wouldn’t mind even if they withered.
However, they did not wither.
Although it is said that a cyclamen flower usually blooms during winter and last until spring, my cyclamen still continues blooming and budding one after another and continues even today, April 13.
While developing a relationship with them, (I also drew picture) I became attached to them gradually, and became interested in flowers in general. When I go to a florist, I started looking at not only vegetables and herbs but flowers as well.
First, I bought red and yellow ranunculus. With this as the start, jasmine, marguerite, and miniature roses joined my veranda garden.
Recently, I also took on the challenge of flower arranging. My “moe” for flowers is likely to continue for a while.
I went walking in the nearby park “Shikinomori Koen” in Nakayama. The sakura (Japanese cherry blossoms) in the park were at there peak and there were many people who were doing “hanami (cherry blossom viewing).” While walking, I thought, “I really envy them. I wish I also could do hanami.”
You might think, “You were also able to watch the cherry blossoms while walking in the park, weren’t you?” Yes, I watched the cherry blossoms, but I could not do “hanami.” Because in Japan, a word “hanami” does not just mean looking at cherry blossoms, but to also have a picnic (if possible, with alcohol) under cherry blossoms.
Natsume Fusanosuke, who is a reviewer, asserted that on a certain TV program, that hanami in Japan is a divine service to unite with the spirit of cherry blossoms. I think that his opinion must be taken with reservation, but I usually say the same thing following his opinion when I was asked why the Japanese get drunk during cherry blossom season.
By the way, I read that in the West, people have improve species of cherry blossoms trees to make cherry trees bear edible fruit. While in Japan, people improve species of cherry blossoms trees to bloom with more beautiful flowers, so Japanese cherry blossom trees do not bear edible fruit. Though there are edible cherries also in Japan now, they are the sort from western hybrid trees.
Sakura fruit is not edible, but the flowers themselves are delicious. In spring, sweets using sakura come on the market in Japan. There are not only traditional Japanese sweets, like sakura mochi but also resently sakura sweets like sakura cookies, sakura ice cream, sakura dacquoise, ect…
Sakura-cha(tea) goes well with sakura sweets. This is picled sakura bud. Pouring hot water, the buds bloom in the water and give off a fragrance of sakura. Why is the sakura flavor so tasty? Although I have to go on a diet, I cannot defeat the temptation of sakura sweets.