(now and again)

Tokyo DIY Gardening Hands-on gardening for a crowded city

Garden Types
Curbside Embedded Pots
Curbside Embedded Pots

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.

Roadside Brick Planter
Roadside Brick Planter

Long roadside planter constructed of loosely packed bricks.

Garden in Planks, Pots and Breeze Blocks
Garden in Planks, Pots and Breeze Blocks

Creative use of dead space for a practical garden.

Philosopher’s Pot
Philosopher's Pot

Bare curbside bonsai on a block in Kyoto.

Rubbish Drop-off Roof Garden
Rubbish Drop-off Roof Garden

A lovely twist to the usually forboding and odorous gaping deadspace.

Smoking Spot Beautification in Can and Flowers
Smoking Spot Beautification in Can and Flowers

Decorating a smoking/drink machine ‘rest spot’.

Classic Pot Garden in Shiba/Mita
Classic Pot Garden in Shiba/Mita

Whether intentional or not, the impressive scale of this garden creates a natural security system…..

Fixing a Park Map
Fixing a Park Map

Hand drawn modifications to a public park map detail suggested exit routes.

Towering Tethered Sunflowers
Towering Tethered Sunflowers

Tethered giants in Shibuya backstreet.

Memorial Garden in Neighbourhood Park
Memorial Garden in Neighbourhood Park

This well tended local neighbourhood park garden is actually a quiet memorial to a deceased spouse.

Light Hanging Garden
Light Hanging Garden

An easy hanging garden created by hanging a light planter from a tree branch.

Tree Breaks out of Pot and into Soil
Tree Breaks out of Pot and into Soil

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.

PET Bottle Plot
PET Bottle Plot

It’s interesting to see a material that usually acts as a pest deterrent incorporated into the construction of the garden.

Mulberry Season in Tokyo
Mulberry Season in Tokyo

Jam, Cake, Smoothies, Snacking

Mulberry Harvest
Mulberry Harvest

Mulberry season in Tokyo’s western suburbs!

東京フルーツ・レイヤー
東京フルーツ・レイヤー

Japanese version of text for Italian Collabora LIMNO

Productive, Profitable and Pretty
Productive, Profitable and Pretty

Diverse use of family land/carpark.

Apartment Block Garden Fixtures
Apartment Block Garden Fixtures

Affixing small hangers and substantial brackets to increase the plant population.

Commuter Relief
Commuter Relief

Weary commuters mold the organic infrastructure of their neighbourhoods.

Roof Tile Planter
Roof Tile Planter

Unique reuse of traditional materials.

Powerpole Hanging Basket
Powerpole Hanging Basket

S-hook and hanger on powerpole climbing peg makes for a stable hanging garden.

Snap Endo Structure
Snap Endo Structure

Chopstick support.

Highrise Balcony Gardens
Highrise Balcony Gardens

Cramped balconies nurture lush microclimates

Deadspace Care and Attachment
Deadspace Care and Attachment

Unexpected care for run-down suburban dead space.

Young Goya Tunnel
Young Goya Tunnel

Appropriation, connection.

Hanging Pots off a Breeze Block Wall
Hanging Pots off a Breeze Block Wall

Simple and novel solution.

Article: Tokyo Fruit Layers
Article: Tokyo Fruit Layers

“Understanding fruit layers can help make urban life more social, resilient and delicious”

Organic Decoration
Organic Decoration

Out of season fox face tied to a tree add a splash of colour to a central Harajuku street.

Protect your Seedlings
Protect your Seedlings

Inventive and strongly practical use/reuse of a familiar and cheap mass-produced item.

Pansies in a Sidewalk Crack
Pansies in a Sidewalk Crack

In the world’s largest mega-city, even a crack in the sidewalk can be a place to grow a flower.

Flowers & Plants in Metro Men’s Rooms
Flowers & Plants in Metro Men's Rooms

Low-cost greenery to improve pedestrian spaces.

Tiered Garden in Breeze Blocks
Tiered Garden in Breeze Blocks

A bit of life and color in a tight inner-city driveway.

Riverbank Community Garden in Tsukishima
Riverbank Community Garden in Tsukishima

A great use of dead space, allowing people in a crowded neighborhood to have outdoor plants.

Harajuku Flower Pot Wall more Grandma than Hipster
Harajuku Flower Pot Wall more Grandma than Hipster

That’s a lot of flowers for one tiny space.

Tree Training
Tree Training

No matter the value of the real estate, the gardening fixes tend to be the same……

Green Corner
Green Corner

A great way to create extra gardening space without encroaching on the narrow street or cramped inner courtyard.

Potplants Secured with Bricks
Potplants Secured with Bricks

A stable and designerly solution

Decorative + Practical Danchi Gardening
Decorative + Practical Danchi Gardening

Decorative charm and creative practical application.

Laundry Pole Hanging Garden
Laundry Pole Hanging Garden

Horizontal garden hanging on a laundry pole.

Care for Edogawa Wildflowers
Care for Edogawa Wildflowers

Fine-grained care and human(e) attachment

Curbside Succulent Space in Concrete and Rocks
Curbside Succulent Space in Concrete and Rocks

A bed of succulents created in the tightest of spaces – A sensitive, practical and elegant solution.

Hanging Garden
Hanging Garden

Chains and hooks and nails and pots….

Still City Tokyo Tour
Still City Tokyo Tour

Feasting on foraged Tokyo treats!

Tokyo’s Convivial Parks
Tokyo's Convivial Parks

Diversity, Vibrance, Tolerance

Rainy Day Ramble in far West SuburbZ
Rainy Day Ramble in far West SuburbZ

Rainy ramble in far west Tokyo suburbs

Greening the Chuo-sen
Greening the Chuo-sen

Biophilic encounter on commuter train

PET Bottle Planters
PET Bottle Planters

Early 2003 example from Nagoya

Memorial Asagao
Memorial Asagao

Notes from memory-infused morning glories

Early October is Ginan Season
Early October is Ginan Season

Autumn treats, taught by a tantric yogi

Takeaway Gardenias
Takeaway Gardenias

Local gambling zone offers flowers to regulars & neighbours

Edible Subscapes and Sensual Substitutes
Edible Subscapes and Sensual Substitutes

DRM-infused code candies. Rich subterranean soils.

Traffic Cone Planter
Traffic Cone Planter

Courtesy of Edith Prakoso

Tokyo Poppy Seed Bread
Tokyo Poppy Seed Bread

Delicious City-Infused Bread

Overgrown Suburban Plot
Overgrown Suburban Plot

Casual colour.

Parking Garden
Parking Garden

Definition and practical value.

Impromptu Hanging Garden
Impromptu Hanging Garden

City infrastructure fosters independent green.

Rogue Avocado Planter
Rogue Avocado Planter

Upper class implants

First Floor Goya
First Floor Goya

Easy growing.

Supporting Structure
Supporting Structure

Plastic twine = essential Tokyo gardening material.

Lone Pansy
Lone Pansy

Independent decoration

Living Bouquet
Living Bouquet

Twist ties + Stakes = Dense Street Bouquet

Why are some neighborhood parks so sad?
Why are some neighborhood parks so sad?

Many of Tokyo’s res­id­en­tial neigh­bor­hood parks are poorly main­tained and under-used……

Video: Rooftop Gardening Voyeur
Video: Rooftop Gardening Voyeur

A chance encounter up high.

Frugal Plot
Frugal Plot

The essence of Tokyo DIY gardening.

Floral Stairway
Floral Stairway

Suburban colour.

Seashell Border
Seashell Border

Ocean-in-Suburbs

Suburban Rooftop Jungle
Suburban Rooftop Jungle

Beautiful, out of control hobby.

Driveway Tiered Garden
Driveway Tiered Garden

Everyday driveway gardening.

Morning glory green curtain
Morning glory green curtain

All the apartments have nets, perhaps to deter birds, yet few are so well used.

Blue salvia, wood house, and bicycle
Blue salvia, wood house, and bicycle

Casual, unplanned, resilient.

Two Types of Border
Two Types of Border

Dead space growth.

Corner Plot
Corner Plot

Informal boundary in sticks and string.

Edogawa Wildflowers
Edogawa Wildflowers

Care and attachment in a desolate landscape.

Lost and Found
Lost and Found

The honesty and community of Tokyo’s walkable suburbs.

Second Floor Garden
Second Floor Garden

I love the variety of plants, and the way the garden adds onto what is already there.

Slim Tamagawa Josui Plot
Slim Tamagawa Josui Plot

Gardening by a green road.

Shinjuku Grass
Shinjuku Grass

A perfect complement to hyper-real neon surroundings appears with no human planning

Koenji Sidewalk Garden
Koenji Sidewalk Garden

Variety of plants and impeccable maintenance

Dense Tiered Garden
Dense Tiered Garden

Bricks and all kinds of junk.

Sidewalk Kinkan
Sidewalk Kinkan

Delicious pickled, marmaladed, or squashed up in the mouth…..

Tomato Garden in Blocks
Tomato Garden in Blocks

A temporary patch of life on a shallow, gravel parking lot.

Goya Awning
Goya Awning

Shade, food, community.

Mini Farm on Concrete Pad
Mini Farm on Concrete Pad

Recycled and simple materials, like plastic sacks as container pots

Plants + Recycled Items in Takamatsu
Plants + Recycled Items in Takamatsu

Cafe decoration in Shikoku.

Level 9 Meguro
Level 9 Meguro

Dead space becomes a place of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Conjunctive Gardening
Conjunctive Gardening

“…imprecise, unrepeatable, imperfect and continuous…”

Lush Potted Alley
Lush Potted Alley

Permanence of impermanent structure; Relaxed hiding space; Natural cooling; Shade.

Stepped Garden and Imposing Creeper
Stepped Garden and Imposing Creeper

Humble color + striking feature.

Hose Storage
Hose Storage

Plants can play many roles in neighbourhood life.

Simple Clothes Hanger Garden
Simple Clothes Hanger Garden

Laundry pole + clothes hangers in Omotesando

Sensitive Block Wall
Sensitive Block Wall

Although the trees are long dead, the wall reminds us of a garden once treasured.

Informal Florist
Informal Florist

Relaxed, honesty-box style informal florist makes a delightful addition to an afternoon stroll.

Shiso in the Pavement
Shiso in the Pavement

Keep your eye on the cracks

Breeze Block Trees
Breeze Block Trees

Gardening for soil-less environs

Sidewalk Grapes
Sidewalk Grapes

Edible adaption and adoption.

Curbside Tiered Garden
Curbside Tiered Garden

Molded to the edge of the plot.

Polystyrene Planting
Polystyrene Planting

Flexible, tiered, lithe.

Raised Garden
Raised Garden

A host of edibles in a junk inscribed plot.

Traffic Cone Planter
Traffic Cone Planter

Space efficient roadside planter fix.

Sides
Sides

Passage territories are invitations to garden.

Summer is Loquat Season in Tokyo
Summer is Loquat Season in Tokyo

It’s great to see such huge trees full of orange fruit and accessible from the street.

Edoble
Edoble

Free food every where, in Tokyo

Conjunctive Gardening
Conjunctive Gardening

Pots, blocks, dirt and plants sit, stand on and burrow over and into each other.

Two Plants Cover Home
Two Plants Cover Home

Ample plant growth in the most minimal of urban spaces

Frugal Hanging Garden
Frugal Hanging Garden

Simple, robust, flexible

Entrance Markers
Entrance Markers

A ramshackle arrangement.

No Parking in Potplants
No Parking in Potplants

A bit of greenification helps keep this inner-city commerce spot free of parked bicycles.

Mosquito Repellent Vase in Park Toilet
Mosquito Repellent Vase in Park Toilet

Another example of the hand made aspects of Japanese mass-made toilets.

School children give pansies to Metro station
School children give pansies to Metro station

How cool that the students are offering the station something alive.

Dead Space Onions
Dead Space Onions

Dead space unsuable for parking or commerce.

Succulents in rusty recycled cans
Succulents in rusty recycled cans

Another only-in-Tokyo street beauty

Carpark Brick Planter
Carpark Brick Planter

Plants trump cars.

Shibuya Greening Project Update
Shibuya Greening Project Update

Planters in planters.

PopcornHomestead Curtain
PopcornHomestead Curtain

Prolific and generous Tokyo gardener Joan Bailey is documenting her new and improved green curtain.

Green Curtain Tokyo
Green Curtain Tokyo

Family blog documenting a green curtain.

Balcony Gardening Tokyo
Balcony Gardening Tokyo

A lovely family gardening experiment

Tiered Garden and Plot
Tiered Garden and Plot

Footpath facing tiered gardens & plot.

Wire Pot Plant Hangers
Wire Pot Plant Hangers

Wire twisted into pot plant holders to decorate roadside residential fencing.

Storing Cabbages, Drying Shoes
Storing Cabbages, Drying Shoes

Metal window ledge provides ample space for both storing cabbages and drying shoes.

DIY Conflict Resolution
DIY Conflict Resolution

“No Pooing! No Peeing!” reads this scrawled message on a broken board.

Trees Support Pots Support Trees
Trees Support Pots Support Trees

Mature trees support their still-potted adolescent friend.

Independent Green Roof
Independent Green Roof

Untended bicycle parking bay results in lush unintentional green roof.

Giant sidewalk sunflowers in full bloom
Giant sidewalk sunflowers in full bloom

in full bloom and towering over the pedestrians

Tokyo Greenmail
Tokyo Greenmail

Greenmail instead of blackmail, or cute act of guerilla gardening.

Small green wall improves sidewalk
Small green wall improves sidewalk

the wall uses minimal space to provide a green corridor

Clothes Hanger Garden
Clothes Hanger Garden

Car port hanging garden constructed from modified hangers

Crow TeruTeruBozu Scarecrow
Crow TeruTeruBozu Scarecrow

TeruTeruBozu type crow scarecrow construction in rubbish bags.

Brick Planter
Brick Planter

Loose bricks arranged around potplants beautify a suburban retail space.

A tree of death outside Family Mart
A tree of death outside Family Mart

a tree of death, made of dozens of cigarette cartons and festooned with Christmas lights

Street Corner Tomato Construction
Street Corner Tomato Construction

“…perhaps disregard for existing structures is a better description, as the rods pierce the old corrugated plastic awning to stabilize the structure”

High Climber in Twine
High Climber in Twine

An interesting take on the classic balcony-supported green curtain.

Breeze Block Parking Pots
Breeze Block Parking Pots

Breeze blocks that form the edging of a carpark double as sturdy plant pots.

Blooming Corner Container Garden
Blooming Corner Container Garden

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.

Beer Crate Roof Garden
Beer Crate Roof Garden

Transferring the principles of the Tokyo curbside garden a few meters skyward.

Eye-level Pot Plant Rack
Eye-level Pot Plant Rack

Precarious yet thoughtful, this construction does not intrude into the narrow thoroughfare any further than the curb line.

Slim Curbside Planting in Yanaka
Slim Curbside Planting in Yanaka

A lightweight and considerate garden.

A Field of Pots
A Field of Pots

A love affair with dirt knows no bounds, rules, and follows a logic of its own. Right on, I say!

Jungle on High in Yanaka
Jungle on High in Yanaka

A mysterious and slightly foreboding balcony jungle in Yanaka.

Golfer’s Fence
Golfer's Fence

Avid golfer brings hobby home to the garden.

Downtown Eggplants in Ebisu
Downtown Eggplants in Ebisu

Downtown eggplants next to NADiff gallery in Ebisu

Wildness in Nishi Azabu Juban
Wildness in Nishi Azabu Juban

There is something comforting to feel wildness in the center of the city

S-Hooks are Tokyo’s super glue
S-Hooks are Tokyo’s super glue

this hanging pot relies on an S-hook to attach itself to the existing built environment

Pots Trump Cars in Kokubunji
Pots Trump Cars in Kokubunji

Space for gardening more important that private transport in a leafy Tokyo suburb.

Striking Hanging Garden in Yanaka
Striking Hanging Garden in Yanaka

Hanging planter space 3m above a Yanaka alley.

Extra Curbside Space
Extra Curbside Space

Extra curbside space eked out for a planter row.

Makeshift plastic rope trellis for morning glory
Makeshift plastic rope trellis for morning glory

Is this a new trend? I am looking forward to watching these plants grow this summer.

Supplying water in hot weather
Supplying water in hot weather

“It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing in this heat.”

Dead Space Brick Planter
Dead Space Brick Planter

A few bricks in the right place can help turn dead into living + edible space.

Pot Plant Corner in Nakano
Pot Plant Corner in Nakano

Resembling a battleship plowing through the water, this garden takes over almost the entire street frontage of the building.

Tomatoes and Rice on Harajuku Curb
Tomatoes and Rice on Harajuku Curb

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.

Tree Branch Hanging Pots
Tree Branch Hanging Pots

A simple solution for a hanging garden on a narrow Yanaka footpath.

Curbside Planter Support in Bricks and Wood
Curbside Planter Support in Bricks and Wood

Creating curbside planter space with bricks and wood.

Replacing Dead Urban Spaces with Living Habitat
Replacing Dead Urban Spaces with Living Habitat

Contrary to popular opinion, cities only become devoid of natural life by active suppression…..

Summer Vegetables on the Sidewalk
Summer Vegetables on the Sidewalk

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.

Lush Green Wall Collage
Lush Green Wall Collage

Unplanned and hectic but built up slowly over many years. Temporary in form and materials but not in presence.

Pocket Garden in Astroturf
Pocket Garden in Astroturf

A cute pocket garden constructed from waste materials.

Mini-Watermelon Stand
Mini-Watermelon Stand

A little support for a little melon.

Secure Pot Plant Construction
Secure Pot Plant Construction

There’s no shame in tying a few pots up on your wall with a bit of old rope!

Urban Garden Boundary
Urban Garden Boundary

Claiming urban space for gardening is simple.

Sidewalk sunflowers
Sidewalk sunflowers

I love the small strips of green space between the sidewalk and the street.

Gardening for Strangers in Tokyo
Gardening for Strangers in Tokyo

What surprises me still are Tokyo residents’ ingenuity and passion for cultivating plants and community in a crowded, over-built city…..

Tomato Web
Tomato Web

‘Web’-type tomato garden in apartment complex dead space.

Hanging Gardens of Harajuku
Hanging Gardens of Harajuku

Precarious hanging gardens one step back from Tokyo’s fashion district.

Green Wall in Pot Plants
Green Wall in Pot Plants

Strategic pot plant placement creates a makeshift green wall in Shibuya.

Pipe-Based Potplant Holder
Pipe-Based Potplant Holder

External piping engaged as potplant holder in central Harajuku.

Flower Breaking Through Pavement
Flower Breaking Through Pavement

How did it get there? How does it survive the city’s relentless drive to bury every grain of soil?

A Public Train Set in Zoushigaya
A Public Train Set in Zoushigaya

A public train set in a rather barren raised garden on a small street across from a cemetery and the music school.

Garden Space in Stacked Bricks
Garden Space in Stacked Bricks

An arrangement of pot plants is given shape and presence by a brick border.

Grape Maniac in Minato-Ku
Grape Maniac in Minato-Ku

Growing your own. Tokyo Style.

Tethered Flower Driveway
Tethered Flower Driveway

High-priced residence, luxury car, beautiful flower, and humble maintenence method.

Gathered Tree in Rope
Gathered Tree in Rope

More tree gathering.

Caged Bonsai
Caged Bonsai

“Protected from would-be snatchers but all can enjoy”

Cute Bookshelves
Cute Bookshelves

“Very cute outdoor shelving for plants. Like book shelves”

Let’s cover Tokyo in winter lavendar
Let's cover Tokyo in winter lavendar

Covering a Tokyo building with lavender plants, or creating small lavender city farms . . .

Water Please!
Water Please!

Public planter asks passers-by for a bit of water.

Gathered Tree in Plastic Twine
Gathered Tree in Plastic Twine

Aesthetically pleasing and responsible.

Wild Curbside Reigned in
Wild Curbside Reigned in

Respect, privacy, decoration.

Simple Planter Tiered Garden
Simple Planter Tiered Garden

Planters on planters.

Two Birds, One Stone
Two Birds, One Stone

Contribution from Ella Rutledge.

Entrance Garden from Linus Yng
Entrance Garden from Linus Yng

“What you do with this space is up to you”

Surviving in the Exhaust
Surviving in the Exhaust

Lovely pink gabella lives along Ome Kaido..all by itself

Mini daikon going strong
Mini daikon going strong

“when I thin them out, I can eat the sprouts”

Konegi in the Kitchen
Konegi in the Kitchen

“Konegi in my kitchen loves the sunshine today.”

Planter Stand in Breeze Blocks
Planter Stand in Breeze Blocks

Creating even more space for plants.

Simple Riverside Pots
Simple Riverside Pots

Boundary extension in pots.

No space for fruit tree? Check this out!
No space for fruit tree? Check this out!

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 […]

Intoxicating night scent of Angel’s Trumpet
Intoxicating night scent of Angel’s Trumpet

hardy and decorative, with a shamanistic function in its native Amazon habitat

Postal Garden
Postal Garden

A very practical and compact construction.

Potted plant in bicycle basket
Potted plant in bicycle basket

Did the bicycle owner leave the potted plant in the basket, or did a stranger deposit it there?

Japanese anemone signal fall
Japanese anemone signal fall

naming confusion is quite common with flower and plants

Power Lines and Tree in Yanaka
Power Lines and Tree in Yanaka

Which came first?

Yotsuya Dead, Green, Space
Yotsuya Dead, Green, Space

Gregory Robertson is interested in this dead, green, wild space in Yotsuya….

Simple + Fresh Wire Rack Planter
Simple + Fresh Wire Rack Planter

Simple, fresh yellow flower planter on wire rack.

Autumn Nature Watching Timetable Fix
Autumn Nature Watching Timetable Fix

Flexible nature watching timetable in government park.

Fall perennial border in pots on curbside
Fall perennial border in pots on curbside

despite the lack of ground soil and space . . I admire the gardener’s generosity to passing pedestrians and bicyclists

Orange tree by the Kanda River
Orange tree by the Kanda River

. . . the Kanda River viewed from Nakano Fujimichio, with an orange tree in the foreground and the skyscrapers of Nishi Shinjuku in the background

Guest photo from Hiyoko Imai
Guest photo from Hiyoko Imai

Much of the daily fabric of urban life, instead, feels like this photo: a bunch of stuff bolted on to other stuff

Beloperone guttata or little shrimp plant (コエビソウ) growing between 2 walls
Beloperone guttata or little shrimp plant (コエビソウ) growing between 2 walls

Tokyo’s ample rainfall allows plants to thrive in the most unlikely places.

Fall fruit growing in Tokyo’s back streets
Fall fruit growing in Tokyo’s back streets

Recently, I have noticed oranges, persimmons, and even pomegranate growing in my neighbors’ tiny gardens and balconies

Spider lilies are everywhere in Tokyo during fall
Spider lilies are everywhere in Tokyo during fall

They are extremely hardy, and pop up everywhere in the fall on green stalks with no leaves.

Small green curtain at factory car shop
Small green curtain at factory car shop

It’s great to see people make use of work time and space for some vegetable gardening.

Trained Creeping Fence
Trained Creeping Fence

Coffee shop owner appropriates dead space, fence and creeper to create green lane.

Bonsais displayed on sidewalk and street
Bonsais displayed on sidewalk and street

this collection of bonsais sits on recycled containers

Have you smelled kinmokusei?
Have you smelled kinmokusei?

One amazing fall flower is the very fragrant kinmokusei

Protecting or Fortifying?
Protecting or Fortifying?

Innocently protecting weeds, or fortifying scarce urban space against undesired use?

Joseph Tame’s Gardening: The Pineapple
Joseph Tame's Gardening: The Pineapple

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…..

Expressways divide neighborhoods and repel people
Expressways divide neighborhoods and repel people

These massive structures are the opposite of the small lanes that make Tokyo feel so village-like and livable.

Wildness beside a busy subway platform
Wildness beside a busy subway platform

There is something beautiful to glimpse this inefficient use of space and so much lush greenery in the midst of a dense city

Have you smelled kinmokusei?
Have you smelled kinmokusei?

an amazing fall flower is the very fragrant kinmokusei (キンモクセイ)

Tree Supported Washing Line 002
Tree Supported Washing Line 002

Trees support a laundry pole construction in Tokyo’s Tachikawa suburbs.

Hanging plant decorates fence in front of empty lot
Hanging plant decorates fence in front of empty lot

My guess is that both of these plant interventions. . . were created by neighbors getting tired of seeing the empty lot and its weeds

Anyone know the name of this flowering weed?
Anyone know the name of this flowering weed?

I wasn’t sure if it was an intentional plant

Shade for Tomatoes
Shade for Tomatoes

A row of tomato vines protected from the harsh Tokyo summer with a whole lot of umbrellas.

Farming in the Concrete Jungle
Farming in the Concrete Jungle

Great article on urban farming in Tokyo by Dr. Jintana Kawasaki

Spectacular Goya Curtain in Tokyo Suburbs
Spectacular Goya Curtain in Tokyo Suburbs

Amazing first-time goya curtain

Tethered Bush in Packing Strap
Tethered Bush in Packing Strap

A mix of respect for plant life and hassle involved with disposing of plant cuttings?

Public Seating Rock Garden
Public Seating Rock Garden

Unusable public seating repurposed as rock garden at Mt. Takao, West Tokyo.

Aerial Climber
Aerial Climber

The role of built environmental artifacts/components will increasingly be that of trellis.

Okra is a popular alley plant
Okra is a popular alley plant

What’s growing in your neighborhood?

Support Structure Safety
Support Structure Safety

A strongly practical, domestic garden safety solution.

Neighborhood sunflowers
Neighborhood sunflowers

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. […]

Plastic Hothouses
Plastic Hothouses

Simple and effective hothouse solution in plastic.

Elegant Nezu Museum garden
Elegant Nezu Museum garden

enchanted by how the light struck this worn boat, the plants growing in its bow, and the illusion of . . .

Vegetable Storage in Nets
Vegetable Storage in Nets

A simple way to store an onion and potato harvest.

Azabu Juban’s Kakuremino bar defined by street tree
Azabu Juban’s Kakuremino bar defined by street tree

this narrow Nishi Azabu Juban bar is defined by the curbside street tree

Watering Can Storage on Spade
Watering Can Storage on Spade

Visibility and dryness = Keys to good garden storage

Lush sidewalk garden in Nishi Azabu Juban
Lush sidewalk garden in Nishi Azabu Juban

Most people would think there’s no room for a garden

Tree Training in Wire
Tree Training in Wire

A simple, reversible and light-handed approach to guiding garden growth.

Water Garden
Water Garden

“If you want to try gardening with a difference but are pushed for space go for a water garden”

Japan’s Seven Fall Flowers
Japan’s Seven Fall Flowers

Japan has a famous set of seven fall flowers

Baby bitter melon in September typhoon
Baby bitter melon in September typhoon

A baby bitter melon in the rain, with its flower still attached

Elaborate sidewalk garden with plant labels
Elaborate sidewalk garden with plant labels

Nearly all of the pots rests on stools or low tables

Mobile Bonsai Shop on Omotesando
Mobile Bonsai Shop on Omotesando

This plant sales person has staked out valuable real estate

Early fall color despite heat still on full blast
Early fall color despite heat still on full blast

This sign of fall seems a cruel joke.

Giant hedge frames modern house in Nakano
Giant hedge frames modern house in Nakano

Sometimes just 2 hedges = beautiful garden

Beautiful water plants in bowl outside Shizen
Beautiful water plants in bowl outside Shizen

A simple bowl with plants can really add visual impact to a central city sidewalk.

Shinjuku Ward Office greening
Shinjuku Ward Office greening

sidewalk awning with minimal space and maintenance, impacts thousands coming to ward office

Balcony garden update
Balcony garden update

It’s amazing what you can fit in a sunny narrow space.

Semi-wild, semi-cultivated space in Yoyogi
Semi-wild, semi-cultivated space in Yoyogi

in between two train tracks, an elevated overpass, and a convenience store . . .

Security or Stabilization? 003
Security or Stabilization? 003

This one looks as if it is secured to keep the tree from obstructing the front entrance.

Concrete Curbside Planter
Concrete Curbside Planter

This concrete curbside planter adds a permanent garden in the narrow space between wall and curb.

Curbside Assemblage with High Hanging Pots
Curbside Assemblage with High Hanging Pots

High hanging pots in wire

Corner Potplanting
Corner Potplanting

Use of existing plants in garden construction

My neighbors in Yutenji.
My neighbors in Yutenji.

A small asagao pot garden and overwhelming garden jungle in Meguro-ku.

Roof Garden in Waseda
Roof Garden in Waseda

I needed a telescope to get a REALLY good look, which would have felt a bit like being a garden stalker….

Rose Bush Takes Over House
Rose Bush Takes Over House

The inside must be filled with delicious scent of the roses and feel miles away from the city life just outside the door.

Garden Vending
Garden Vending

A rather unlikely place, but not so unusual in many regards for Japan.

Narrow Trackside Colour in Rocks
Narrow Trackside Colour in Rocks

Rocks and concrete blocks mark out narrow marginal space for a bright shock of colour.

Growing Up in Meguro-ku
Growing Up in Meguro-ku

Creeping greens in Yutenji

Tiny Paradise in Meguro-ku
Tiny Paradise in Meguro-ku

Who needs a yard?!

Selfmade “Vertical Garden” in Shiba/Mita
Selfmade "Vertical Garden" in Shiba/Mita

Selfmade “vertical garden” courtesy of Jan Lindenberg

Small building in Shinjuku covered in vines
Small building in Shinjuku covered in vines

This small building in a Shinjuku commercial district is buried in vines

Dense and mature sidewalk garden in Chiyoda
Dense and mature sidewalk garden in Chiyoda

The planting is amazingly thick, creating a green wall between the sidewalk and the large boulevard. . .

More balcony-grown baby watermelon
More balcony-grown baby watermelon

I am surprised at the success of this vertical, balcony watermelon

Shibuya Greening Project – 「街をきれいに!」
Shibuya Greening Project – 「街をきれいに!」

What happens when disembodied forces try to impose beauty on the city…

Trackside Asagao Space
Trackside Asagao Space

Dead space along the railway tracks in productive and enjoyable use

Mix of Green and Mechanical Design
Mix of Green and Mechanical Design

“Funny mix of green and mechanical design. Jingumae, Tokyo”

Recent pictures 最近の写真
Recent pictures 最近の写真

These recent pictures documenting the progress of Tak Watanabe and daughter’s first green wall are amazing.

Ants cleaning goya seeds ゴーヤの種の掃除屋さん
Ants cleaning goya seeds ゴーヤの種の掃除屋さん

“Cleaning goya seeds is a pain….so let the ants take care of them!”

Sidewalk bitter melons in plastic buckets & twine
Sidewalk bitter melons in plastic buckets & twine

Bitter melon growing in plastic buckets with an elaborate plastic twine trellis supported by a tree branch

Small ledge for green curtain & laundry
Small ledge for green curtain & laundry

Another great example of multi-function outdoor spaces that are incredibly small

Beer Crate Tiered Garden
Beer Crate Tiered Garden

Upturned beer crates form the structure of this mid-scale tiered garden in a Yanaka driveway.

Summer-time morning glory
Summer-time morning glory

As their name implies, the flowers are most spectacular in the morning.

Security or Stabilization? 002
Security or Stabilization? 002

Frayed rope for security or stabilization?

Simple Tiered Garden
Simple Tiered Garden

Sometimes objects just fit.

Growing eggplant and cucumber on high-rise balcony
Growing eggplant and cucumber on high-rise balcony

Cucumbers grow incredibly fast

Curbside Chili Garden
Curbside Chili Garden

Curbside as home for hot chili garden.

Neighbor’s okra in pot atop wall
Neighbor's okra in pot atop wall

I wonder how the neighbor cooked them.

Growing rice in buckets at Waseda university
Growing rice in buckets at Waseda university

I am sure that tending rice in the city makes residents appreciate eating rice even more

Planter in Yanaka
Planter in Yanaka

A lovely understated planter in Yanaka.

Monster Agave Americana
Monster Agave Americana

A monster agave americana displays the resilience and majesty of plants in the face of overwhelming concrete.

Bitter melon green curtain growing on curbside
Bitter melon green curtain growing on curbside

It covers the window, and dwarfs in size the adjacent vending machine

Cherry tomatoes and laundry
Cherry tomatoes and laundry

Ripe cherry tomatoes growing safely on the sidewalk, within arms reach of the laundry hanging to dry

Security or Stabilization?
Security or Stabilization?

What is the function of this construction? Security? Stabilization?

Goya, Tomatoes and a Cool Drink
Goya, Tomatoes and a Cool Drink

Healthy goya and tomato green curtain, with an interesting attachment.

Tree Training in Wire
Tree Training in Wire

Another example of how to train a tree to create a traditional and elegant entranceway.

Eating balcony-grown watermelon
Eating balcony-grown watermelon

I kept hoping that they would get a bit bigger, but finally I decided to harvest them.

2nd floor view. 二階の窓から
2nd floor view. 二階の窓から

A green curtain from the inside.

Apartment Entrance Garden + Grapes
Apartment Entrance Garden + Grapes

Grapes are a feature fruit in Tokyo, from the inner-city to the outer suburbs.

Up in the Air in Shibuya
Up in the Air in Shibuya

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…..

Ivy trained into an X-shape topiary
Ivy trained into an X-shape topiary

This local person must enjoy plants and the opportunity to make something artful in a small space.

Vivid Escapee Bougainvillea
Vivid Escapee Bougainvillea

The elderly man taking a morning stroll in his pajamas stopped to share his amazement and pleasure at the sight.

Elementary School Morning Glory
Elementary School Morning Glory

The flowers vary in color, and the students track the progress in notebooks. Looks like fun.

Balcony overflows with bougainvillea and other plants
Balcony overflows with bougainvillea and other plants

This corner balcony must have 40 or even 100 plants. I wonder what it looks like from inside the apartment.

Preparing for Climbers
Preparing for Climbers

Laying the foundations for a summer green wall.

Volunteer Cactus
Volunteer Cactus

Another example of the resilient, resourceful ways that plants continue to confound our built environment.

Watermelon on my Balcony
Watermelon on my Balcony

My watermelon plant has produced an enormous amount of growth in just two months on the balcony…….

Summer Blackberries in Tokyo
Summer Blackberries in Tokyo

All the classic elements: use of public space in unexpected way, display of citizens’ care and skills, recycling of simple materials…..

Rose-covered homeware shop in Nishi Ogikubo
Rose-covered homeware shop in Nishi Ogikubo

Flowers as exuberant storefront!

Entrance Tree
Entrance Tree

Creating a striking entranceway.

Bridging the Stormwater Drain
Bridging the Stormwater Drain

Ways to provide extra space for a curbside garden.

Curbside Planting Technique
Curbside Planting Technique

Pots-on-pots for a quick and cheap way to add garden space at the residential border.

Kokubunji Hanging Garden
Kokubunji Hanging Garden

Ways to wire your hanging garden.

Zoushigaya Winter Citrus Trees
Zoushigaya Winter Citrus Trees

Renegade citrus in Zoushigaya.

Balcony Green Curtain
Balcony Green Curtain

A simple twine structure connecting the railing with the laundry support attached to the balcony ceiling.

Lush Green Wall in Pots & Planters
Lush Green Wall in Pots & Planters

A very green wall constructed from planters and Pots

Clip-on Garden Shelf
Clip-on Garden Shelf

Adding a pot-plant garden with wire and wood.

Potplant Holder in Packing Twine
Potplant Holder in Packing Twine

Plastic twine creates space for extra hanging pot-plants.

Tree Training in Rope
Tree Training in Rope

A simple and elegant way to train a tree to grow over an entrance way.

Clever Hook-based Hanging Garden
Clever Hook-based Hanging Garden

A clever solution for creating a hanging garden along a breeze block wall without damaging/affecting the structure in any permanent way.