Jam, Cake, Smoothies, Snacking
Mulberry season in Tokyo’s western suburbs!
Japanese version of text for Italian Collabora LIMNO
Interview on Japan’s top ‘green ideas’ site, greenz.jp
Adding life, scent and song to suburban Tokyo.
Diverse use of family land/carpark.
Affixing small hangers and substantial brackets to increase the plant population.
Weary commuters mold the organic infrastructure of their neighbourhoods.
Unique reuse of traditional materials.
S-hook and hanger on powerpole climbing peg makes for a stable hanging garden.
Cramped balconies nurture lush microclimates
Hand drawn modifications to a public park map detail suggested exit routes.
Unexpected care for run-down suburban dead space.
This well tended local neighbourhood park garden is actually a quiet memorial to a deceased spouse.
Simple and novel solution.
A rambling walk through an inner-city country town.
“Understanding fruit layers can help make urban life more social, resilient and delicious”
Out of season fox face tied to a tree add a splash of colour to a central Harajuku street.
An easy hanging garden created by hanging a light planter from a tree branch.
Inventive and strongly practical use/reuse of a familiar and cheap mass-produced item.
I wish that governments and residents would begin to de-pave Tokyo, and it’s great to see that domestic plants are not waiting for us to act.
In the world’s largest mega-city, even a crack in the sidewalk can be a place to grow a flower.
Low-cost greenery to improve pedestrian spaces.
A bit of life and color in a tight inner-city driveway.
A great use of dead space, allowing people in a crowded neighborhood to have outdoor plants.
That’s a lot of flowers for one tiny space.
Guest lecture at Waseda University, Tokyo.
No matter the value of the real estate, the gardening fixes tend to be the same……
Tethered giants in Shibuya backstreet.
A great way to create extra gardening space without encroaching on the narrow street or cramped inner courtyard.
Presentation for “Transforming Neighbourhoods – Tokyo/Berlin”
“…..fresh inspiration for cities’ extraordinary possibilities….”
A stable and designerly solution
Decorative charm and creative practical application.
Horizontal garden hanging on a laundry pole.
It’s interesting to see a material that usually acts as a pest deterrent incorporated into the construction of the garden.
Creating space from nothing.
Fine-grained care and human(e) attachment
A bed of succulents created in the tightest of spaces – A sensitive, practical and elegant solution.
Creative double use of an often neglected space.
Chains and hooks and nails and pots….
First publication from Tokyo-DIY-Gardening
Feasting on foraged Tokyo treats!
Diversity, Vibrance, Tolerance
Rainy ramble in far west Tokyo suburbs
Biophilic encounter on commuter train
Interviewed for govt PR organ.
Early 2003 example from Nagoya
Notes from memory-infused morning glories
Autumn treats, taught by a tantric yogi
Local gambling zone offers flowers to regulars & neighbours
DRM-infused code candies. Rich subterranean soils.
Courtesy of Edith Prakoso
Delicious City-Infused Bread
Definition and practical value.
City infrastructure fosters independent green.
Upper class implants
Plastic twine = essential Tokyo gardening material.
Jared Braiterman interviewed
Twist ties + Stakes = Dense Street Bouquet
Many of Tokyo’s residential neighborhood parks are poorly maintained and under-used……
A chance encounter up high.
The essence of Tokyo DIY gardening.
Guest post for This Big City
Beautiful, out of control hobby.
Everyday driveway gardening.
Guest post for This Big City
All the apartments have nets, perhaps to deter birds, yet few are so well used.
Casual, unplanned, resilient.
Dead space growth.
Informal boundary in sticks and string.
Care and attachment in a desolate landscape.
The honesty and community of Tokyo’s walkable suburbs.
I love the variety of plants, and the way the garden adds onto what is already there.
Gardening by a green road.
Old and new, green alleys and wide boulevards, wood houses and new construction.
A perfect complement to hyper-real neon surroundings appears with no human planning
Variety of plants and impeccable maintenance
Bricks and all kinds of junk.
Delicious pickled, marmaladed, or squashed up in the mouth…..
A temporary patch of life on a shallow, gravel parking lot.
Shade, food, community.
Recycled and simple materials, like plastic sacks as container pots
Cafe decoration in Shikoku.
Dead space becomes a place of relaxation and rejuvenation.
“…imprecise, unrepeatable, imperfect and continuous…”
Permanence of impermanent structure; Relaxed hiding space; Natural cooling; Shade.
Humble color + striking feature.
Plants can play many roles in neighbourhood life.
Laundry pole + clothes hangers in Omotesando
Although the trees are long dead, the wall reminds us of a garden once treasured.
File under aggressive use of plants.
Relaxed, honesty-box style informal florist makes a delightful addition to an afternoon stroll.
Keep your eye on the cracks
Gardening for soil-less environs
Edible adaption and adoption.
Molded to the edge of the plot.
Flexible, tiered, lithe.
A host of edibles in a junk inscribed plot.
Space efficient roadside planter fix.
Passage territories are invitations to garden.
It’s great to see such huge trees full of orange fruit and accessible from the street.
Free food every where, in Tokyo
Pots, blocks, dirt and plants sit, stand on and burrow over and into each other.
Bare curbside bonsai on a block in Kyoto.
Ample plant growth in the most minimal of urban spaces
Simple, robust, flexible
A ramshackle arrangement.
A preview of a nice document.
A bit of greenification helps keep this inner-city commerce spot free of parked bicycles.
Another example of the hand made aspects of Japanese mass-made toilets.
How cool that the students are offering the station something alive.
Dead space unsuable for parking or commerce.
Decorating a smoking/drink machine ‘rest spot’.
Another only-in-Tokyo street beauty
Plants trump cars.
Long roadside planter constructed of loosely packed bricks.
Planters in planters.
Prolific and generous Tokyo gardener Joan Bailey is documenting her new and improved green curtain.
Family blog documenting a green curtain.
A lovely family gardening experiment
Footpath facing tiered gardens & plot.
Wire twisted into pot plant holders to decorate roadside residential fencing.
Metal window ledge provides ample space for both storing cabbages and drying shoes.
An online garden zine.
“No Pooing! No Peeing!” reads this scrawled message on a broken board.
A small sample of detail images from the Tokyo map created during last August’s Tokyo-DIY-Gardening workshop.
What makes a city desirable?
Mature trees support their still-potted adolescent friend.
A lovely twist to the usually forboding and odorous gaping deadspace.
Untended bicycle parking bay results in lush unintentional green roof.
Trees support a bamboo pole based washing line construction in Tokyo’s Tachikawa suburbs.
in full bloom and towering over the pedestrians
Greenmail instead of blackmail, or cute act of guerilla gardening.
the wall uses minimal space to provide a green corridor
Car port hanging garden constructed from modified hangers
TeruTeruBozu type crow scarecrow construction in rubbish bags.
Loose bricks arranged around potplants beautify a suburban retail space.
a tree of death, made of dozens of cigarette cartons and festooned with Christmas lights
A photographic essay looking at flowers and trees in a dense city.
“…perhaps disregard for existing structures is a better description, as the rods pierce the old corrugated plastic awning to stabilize the structure”
An interesting take on the classic balcony-supported green curtain.
Breeze blocks that form the edging of a carpark double as sturdy plant pots.
Made of a whole variety of containers – some purchased, some styrofoam coolers put to fresh use – it was a bright spot on an otherwise cement-filled busy street.
Transferring the principles of the Tokyo curbside garden a few meters skyward.
Whether intentional or not, the impressive scale of this garden creates a natural security system…..
What made this particular garden stand out is the fact that it is composed entirely of plants still in their garden center pots and plastic containers.
Precarious yet thoughtful, this construction does not intrude into the narrow thoroughfare any further than the curb line.
A lightweight and considerate garden.
A love affair with dirt knows no bounds, rules, and follows a logic of its own. Right on, I say!
A mysterious and slightly foreboding balcony jungle in Yanaka.
Avid golfer brings hobby home to the garden.
Downtown eggplants next to NADiff gallery in Ebisu
There is something comforting to feel wildness in the center of the city
Other uses for plants: Helmet drying and storage.
This example made me realize that I’ve been overlooking a whole species of non-plant-related informal city gardens that still display care for, and attachment to, place.
this hanging pot relies on an S-hook to attach itself to the existing built environment
Space for gardening more important that private transport in a leafy Tokyo suburb.
Hanging planter space 3m above a Yanaka alley.
Extra curbside space eked out for a planter row.
Is this a new trend? I am looking forward to watching these plants grow this summer.
“It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing in this heat.”
Creative use of dead space for a practical garden.
A few bricks in the right place can help turn dead into living + edible space.
Resembling a battleship plowing through the water, this garden takes over almost the entire street frontage of the building.
While the resultant rice will probably not be enough for a meal, this experiment adds a different element to the usual curbside vege-garden fare.
A simple solution for a hanging garden on a narrow Yanaka footpath.
Creating curbside planter space with bricks and wood.
Contrary to popular opinion, cities only become devoid of natural life by active suppression…..
I love how seasonal and impromptu this vegetable gardening is. A city that’s safe for vegetables and plants is one that also welcomes people.
Unplanned and hectic but built up slowly over many years. Temporary in form and materials but not in presence.
A cute pocket garden constructed from waste materials.
A little support for a little melon.
There’s no shame in tying a few pots up on your wall with a bit of old rope!
Claiming urban space for gardening is simple.
I love the small strips of green space between the sidewalk and the street.
What surprises me still are Tokyo residents’ ingenuity and passion for cultivating plants and community in a crowded, over-built city…..
‘Web’-type tomato garden in apartment complex dead space.
Precarious hanging gardens one step back from Tokyo’s fashion district.
Strategic pot plant placement creates a makeshift green wall in Shibuya.
External piping engaged as potplant holder in central Harajuku.
How did it get there? How does it survive the city’s relentless drive to bury every grain of soil?
There seems something almost poetic about the juxtaposition of office worker, flower and soil.
A public train set in a rather barren raised garden on a small street across from a cemetery and the music school.
An arrangement of pot plants is given shape and presence by a brick border.
Mapping the real and imagined green spaces of a megacity requires all kinds of junk…
Growing your own. Tokyo Style.
High-priced residence, luxury car, beautiful flower, and humble maintenence method.
More tree gathering.
“Protected from would-be snatchers but all can enjoy”
“Very cute outdoor shelving for plants. Like book shelves”
Covering a Tokyo building with lavender plants, or creating small lavender city farms . . .
Public planter asks passers-by for a bit of water.
Aesthetically pleasing and responsible.
Respect, privacy, decoration.
Planters on planters.
Contribution from Ella Rutledge.
“What you do with this space is up to you”
Astringent but definitely persimmon
Lovely pink gabella lives along Ome Kaido..all by itself
“when I thin them out, I can eat the sprouts”
“Konegi in my kitchen loves the sunshine today.”
“..the spirit of this urban intervention is full of promise”
Creating even more space for plants.
Boundary extension in pots.
So many city dwellers think they have no space to grow anything. Recently I posted photos of a persimmon tree near my apartment that is three stories tall and full of fruit. I went back to take a shot of its trunk. Actually, it turns out that there are two trees growing in a space [...]
hardy and decorative, with a shamanistic function in its native Amazon habitat
I cannot discern if this question expresses national modesty, a sense of inferiority, or ignorance
A very practical and compact construction.
Did the bicycle owner leave the potted plant in the basket, or did a stranger deposit it there?
naming confusion is quite common with flower and plants
Which came first?
A superb Tokyo architecture/space resource.
Gregory Robertson is interested in this dead, green, wild space in Yotsuya….
Simple, fresh yellow flower planter on wire rack.
“I have constructed quite a delightful garden with no actual access to the earth”
Flexible nature watching timetable in government park.
despite the lack of ground soil and space . . I admire the gardener’s generosity to passing pedestrians and bicyclists
. . . the Kanda River viewed from Nakano Fujimichio, with an orange tree in the foreground and the skyscrapers of Nishi Shinjuku in the background
Smoko space, storage, garden and shed.
Much of the daily fabric of urban life, instead, feels like this photo: a bunch of stuff bolted on to other stuff
“With a single click visitors can plunge from a birds-eye view of Tokyo to street level for a stroll through a tunnel of blooming cherries..”
Tokyo’s ample rainfall allows plants to thrive in the most unlikely places.
Recently, I have noticed oranges, persimmons, and even pomegranate growing in my neighbors’ tiny gardens and balconies
They are extremely hardy, and pop up everywhere in the fall on green stalks with no leaves.
It’s great to see people make use of work time and space for some vegetable gardening.
Coffee shop owner appropriates dead space, fence and creeper to create green lane.
this collection of bonsais sits on recycled containers
One amazing fall flower is the very fragrant kinmokusei
Multifunctional pot plant set up.
Innocently protecting weeds, or fortifying scarce urban space against undesired use?
Despite living but a few kilometres from Shibuya, in the mornings, with nothing but the sound of birds and the wind in the trees, you can imagine that you’re far from the city, somewhere out in the English countryside.
Doing a little gardening brings me a great deal of pleasure, and helps me feel a lot more in touch with the environment within which I live.
I’ve always dreamed of growing my own pineapples – and so when I saw a plant for sale at our local plant shop I just had to buy it…..
These massive structures are the opposite of the small lanes that make Tokyo feel so village-like and livable.
There is something beautiful to glimpse this inefficient use of space and so much lush greenery in the midst of a dense city
an amazing fall flower is the very fragrant kinmokusei (キンモクセイ)
Trees support a laundry pole construction in Tokyo’s Tachikawa suburbs.
My guess is that both of these plant interventions. . . were created by neighbors getting tired of seeing the empty lot and its weeds
I wasn’t sure if it was an intentional plant
A row of tomato vines protected from the harsh Tokyo summer with a whole lot of umbrellas.
Great article on urban farming in Tokyo by Dr. Jintana Kawasaki
Amazing first-time goya curtain
The tree closest to the road becomes the default dumping ground for rubbish from the rest of the site.
A mix of respect for plant life and hassle involved with disposing of plant cuttings?
Unusable public seating repurposed as rock garden at Mt. Takao, West Tokyo.
The role of built environmental artifacts/components will increasingly be that of trellis.
What’s growing in your neighborhood?
A strongly practical, domestic garden safety solution.
I love how these sunflowers are growing at the intersection of two small streets, and how the round flowers echo the larger, convex street mirror. The flowers grow in a tiny scrap of soil just outside the wall around a residence. After preparing the image, I realized that I took a similar photo last year. [...]
“..layer by layer, the modern and present-day cities of Tokyo were built…..urban development took place around many scattered nuclei.”
Simple and effective hothouse solution in plastic.
enchanted by how the light struck this worn boat, the plants growing in its bow, and the illusion of . . .
A simple way to store an onion and potato harvest.
this narrow Nishi Azabu Juban bar is defined by the curbside street tree
Tree in use as a storage system for outdoor cleaning implements.
Visibility and dryness = Keys to good garden storage
Most people would think there’s no room for a garden
A simple, reversible and light-handed approach to guiding garden growth.
“If you want to try gardening with a difference but are pushed for space go for a water garden”
Japan has a famous set of seven fall flowers
A baby bitter melon in the rain, with its flower still attached
Nearly all of the pots rests on stools or low tables
This plant sales person has staked out valuable real estate
This sign of fall seems a cruel joke.
Sometimes just 2 hedges = beautiful garden
A simple bowl with plants can really add visual impact to a central city sidewalk.
sidewalk awning with minimal space and maintenance, impacts thousands coming to ward office
It’s amazing what you can fit in a sunny narrow space.
in between two train tracks, an elevated overpass, and a convenience store . . .
Some photos from the great map which all the participants created.
Starting with a plain sheet of paper, with a single green circle upon it (yes the yamanote line) the group began to map out Tokyo….
This one looks as if it is secured to keep the tree from obstructing the front entrance.
This concrete curbside planter adds a permanent garden in the narrow space between wall and curb.
Excerpt from the 3331 Arts CYD Workshop Presentation
Wire twisted around trellis at one end is threaded through the pots to create an intergrated, secure whole.
High hanging pots in wire
Use of existing plants in garden construction
greenz.jp overview of our 3331 ARTS CYD Workshop
A small asagao pot garden and overwhelming garden jungle in Meguro-ku.
I needed a telescope to get a REALLY good look, which would have felt a bit like being a garden stalker….
The inside must be filled with delicious scent of the roses and feel miles away from the city life just outside the door.
A rather unlikely place, but not so unusual in many regards for Japan.
Rocks and concrete blocks mark out narrow marginal space for a bright shock of colour.
Creeping greens in Yutenji
Who needs a yard?!
Selfmade “vertical garden” courtesy of Jan Lindenberg
This small building in a Shinjuku commercial district is buried in vines
The planting is amazingly thick, creating a green wall between the sidewalk and the large boulevard. . .
I am surprised at the success of this vertical, balcony watermelon