Ena and I had lunch downtown yesterday at another one of Fukuoka's fantastic little restaurants. For a grand total of 20 dollars the two of us had a great 3 course meal served at our table with drinks and some really great desserts:
This was the Palarmo Grill, which is always packed but we were lucky enough to get seats after only a 5 minute wait.
After that we had the whole day to ourselves with not much to do. Ena was really keen to do some cycling on her new bike so I suggested we head out to this greenhouse east of town where they have a lot of good plants for very reasonable prices. I have a nice little container garden going on our 2nd floor balcony but I wanted to get a small tree to put by our front entrance, which is just boring concrete.
After our visit to Komyozenji in Dazaifu the previous day with its fantastic garden dominated by Momiji trees I decided to get one of those. I picked out a small one and we were all ready to go to the cash when one of the staff came over to talk to us. I actually knew the guy from a previous visit I had made to the place when he helped me pick out some plants. He told us they had some bigger Momijis around back if we wanted to have a look and so we followed him to the back of the greenhouse where they had a really big collection.
They had this nice one with the very finely shaped leaves that he recommended as it was much bigger and nicer than the one I had chosen in the front and it only cost a little bit more. We were swayed, but my only concern was being able to get the bigger one home on a bicycle. He said he could make it fit if he removed it from its pot, bagged it and then tied it to the basket frame. I was a bit skeptical but, in fact, he was able to do it:
So we ended up buying it. After paying for it when we got on our bikes to leave I realized one problem though: even though the thing could fit into the basket, it was so tall that it blocked my view when riding:
This obviously posed a problem and the only viable solution was to walk the thing home - about a 7km walk.
To make a long story short, an hour and a half later we got back home exhausted with the nagging impression that car ownership might not be such a bad idea after all in the back of our heads.
It was our intention to drop the tree off and then go to a local department store to buy a big pot and some soil to put into it. As we were arriving though we met the 87 year old woman who lives across the street from us saw our tree in my basket and we started a conversation with her about it. She has a really nice garden and was in the middle of doing some gardening. She said there were a lot of big old pots that belonged to our landlord sitting in some vacant land across the street and that we could use one of them. She then shouted at our landlord (we were standing in front of their place at the time - we live on a very very narrow little street) and our landlord's wife Emi came out and said "sure you can use one of them".
So it turned into a little neighborhood project and Emi let us use a really nice big pot and the old gal gave us a bunch of soil she had in her garden and we got the momiji looking really nice in its new pot:
And I then hauled it over to our front door:
I give it about 2 weeks before the neighbor's kids accidentally knock it over and smash the pot while playing in front of it (which they always do unless its raining), but until then I think it spruces up our entrance quite a bit!