There was even a second season, but I didn't watch it because at the glacial rate Sawako and Kazehaya's relationship moved, the climax of the second series might be "one of them invites the other over to their HOUSE and their parents are GONE, DUN DUN DUNNNNN!" Heart palpitations all around.
As for Aoi Hana...I'm not really a fan of yuri, which may be why I never heard of it, but if I can track it down I'll at least give it a shot, since you seem to think highly of it. But it might turn out to be one of those series like Koi Kaze, where I can appreciate how it's trying to tackle more provocative fare but just can't get into it.
Really, I think it's unfair to say the progress is slow. Let's be honest, Sawako is, for all intents and purposes, socially awkward to the point where she wouldn't even know what to do in any situation. It makes her adorable, if you ask me.
I'm currently watching Katanagatari. It's really pretty.
Actually, I have watched The Tatami Galaxy. Really a brilliant series, which made me track down other works by that director, even. It's also one of the few series where I had to pause at times to read whole lines of the rapid-fire monologuing. But I think the way the series was put together made what it had to say in the end feel very true, and I was happy with how things resolved. Big fan, and I would totally buy that series if it was available.
I thought Katanagatari was really ugly >_>
And quite boring (like its namesake Bakemonogatari). But, of course, that's just me ^^;