(now and again)

Tokyo DIY Gardening Hands-on gardening for a crowded city

Curbside
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.

Philosopher’s Pot
Philosopher's Pot

Bare curbside bonsai on a block in Kyoto.

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…..

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.

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.

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.

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

Rainy ramble in far west Tokyo suburbs

Parking Garden
Parking Garden

Definition and practical value.

Lone Pansy
Lone Pansy

Independent decoration

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

Casual, unplanned, resilient.

Koenji Sidewalk Garden
Koenji Sidewalk Garden

Variety of plants and impeccable maintenance

Sidewalk Kinkan
Sidewalk Kinkan

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

Goya Awning
Goya Awning

Shade, food, community.

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.

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.

Traffic Cone Planter
Traffic Cone Planter

Space efficient roadside planter fix.

Conjunctive Gardening
Conjunctive Gardening

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

Entrance Markers
Entrance Markers

A ramshackle arrangement.

Dead Space Onions
Dead Space Onions

Dead space unsuable for parking or commerce.

Trees Support Pots Support Trees
Trees Support Pots Support Trees

Mature trees support their still-potted adolescent friend.

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

in full bloom and towering over the pedestrians

Small green wall improves sidewalk
Small green wall improves sidewalk

the wall uses minimal space to provide a green corridor

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

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.

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.

Pots Trump Cars in Kokubunji
Pots Trump Cars in Kokubunji

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

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.

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.

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

Creating curbside planter space with bricks and wood.

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.

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.

Garden Space in Stacked Bricks
Garden Space in Stacked Bricks

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

Gathered Tree in Rope
Gathered Tree in Rope

More tree gathering.

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.

Surviving in the Exhaust
Surviving in the Exhaust

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

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?

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

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

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

Have you smelled kinmokusei?
Have you smelled kinmokusei?

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

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. […]

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

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

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

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

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 . . .

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.

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.

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

Who needs a yard?!

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. . .

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

Security or Stabilization? 002
Security or Stabilization? 002

Frayed rope for security or stabilization?

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.

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

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

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

Apartment Entrance Garden + Grapes
Apartment Entrance Garden + Grapes

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

Volunteer Cactus
Volunteer Cactus

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

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.

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

A very green wall constructed from planters and Pots

Curbside Planters
Curbside Planters

Scarce curbside space modified to create a pot plant garden. A sturdy, non-permanent solution.