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.
“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.
A bit of life and color in a tight inner-city driveway.
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
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
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.
Gardening by a green road.
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.
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
Molded to the edge of the plot.
Flexible, tiered, lithe.
A host of edibles in a junk inscribed plot.
Passage territories are invitations to garden.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Greenmail instead of blackmail, or cute act of guerilla gardening.
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.
“…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
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.
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”
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.
A very practical and compact construction.
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.
Smoko space, storage, garden and shed.
“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..”
Coffee shop owner appropriates dead space, fence and creeper to create green lane.
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…..
Trees support a laundry pole construction in Tokyo’s Tachikawa suburbs.
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.
A strongly practical, domestic garden safety solution.
“..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.
A simple way to store an onion and potato harvest.
Tree in use as a storage system for outdoor cleaning implements.
Visibility and dryness = Keys to good garden storage
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”
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
What happens when disembodied forces try to impose beauty on the city…
Dead space along the railway tracks in productive and enjoyable use
“Funny mix of green and mechanical design. Jingumae, Tokyo”
These recent pictures documenting the progress of Tak Watanabe and daughter’s first green wall are amazing.
“Cleaning goya seeds is a pain….so let the ants take care of them!”
Upturned beer crates form the structure of this mid-scale tiered garden in a Yanaka driveway.
Frayed rope for security or stabilization?
Sometimes objects just fit.
Curbside as home for hot chili garden.
A lovely understated planter in Yanaka.
A monster agave americana displays the resilience and majesty of plants in the face of overwhelming concrete.
Create a city map identifying Tokyo’s greenest and greyest neighborhoods and places!
What is the function of this construction? Security? Stabilization?
Healthy goya and tomato green curtain, with an interesting attachment.
Another example of how to train a tree to create a traditional and elegant entranceway.
A green curtain from the inside.
Grapes are a feature fruit in Tokyo, from the inner-city to the outer suburbs.
From my vantage point on the 5th floor of an Aoyama Dori office building I check on the progress of a number of rooftop gardens which are invisible from down below…..
The elderly man taking a morning stroll in his pajamas stopped to share his amazement and pleasure at the sight.
Laying the foundations for a summer green wall.
Another example of the resilient, resourceful ways that plants continue to confound our built environment.
Creating a striking entranceway.
Ways to provide extra space for a curbside garden.
Pots-on-pots for a quick and cheap way to add garden space at the residential border.
Ways to wire your hanging garden.
A simple twine structure connecting the railing with the laundry support attached to the balcony ceiling.
A very green wall constructed from planters and Pots
Adding a pot-plant garden with wire and wood.
Plastic twine creates space for extra hanging pot-plants.
Space-saving green storage system.
A simple and elegant way to train a tree to grow over an entrance way.
A clever solution for creating a hanging garden along a breeze block wall without damaging/affecting the structure in any permanent way.
Scarce curbside space modified to create a pot plant garden. A sturdy, non-permanent solution.
Large plastic laundry hook serves as support for a large hanging planter.
A single vine originates from the right side of the front of the building……..
Even mundane structures come alive when we let nature colonize our habitat.
So many people think that all they can plant are simple flower boxes, when vertical solutions can be so much more lush and interesting….