(now and again)

Tokyo DIY Gardening Hands-on gardening for a crowded city

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

Creative use of dead space for a practical garden.

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…..

Productive, Profitable and Pretty
Productive, Profitable and Pretty

Diverse use of family land/carpark.

Commuter Relief
Commuter Relief

Weary commuters mold the organic infrastructure of their neighbourhoods.

Deadspace Care and Attachment
Deadspace Care and Attachment

Unexpected care for run-down suburban dead space.

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.

Care for Edogawa Wildflowers
Care for Edogawa Wildflowers

Fine-grained care and human(e) attachment

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

Rainy ramble in far west Tokyo suburbs

Edible Subscapes and Sensual Substitutes
Edible Subscapes and Sensual Substitutes

DRM-infused code candies. Rich subterranean soils.

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.

Slim Tamagawa Josui Plot
Slim Tamagawa Josui Plot

Gardening by a green road.

Level 9 Meguro
Level 9 Meguro

Dead space becomes a place of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Lush Potted Alley
Lush Potted Alley

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

Raised Garden
Raised Garden

A host of edibles in a junk inscribed plot.

No Parking in Potplants
No Parking in Potplants

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

Dead Space Onions
Dead Space Onions

Dead space unsuable for parking or commerce.

Carpark Brick Planter
Carpark Brick Planter

Plants trump cars.

Small green wall improves sidewalk
Small green wall improves sidewalk

the wall uses minimal space to provide a green corridor

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.

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

Extra Curbside Space
Extra Curbside Space

Extra curbside space eked out for a planter row.

Dead Space Brick Planter
Dead Space Brick Planter

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

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…..

Urban Garden Boundary
Urban Garden Boundary

Claiming urban space for gardening is simple.

Tomato Web
Tomato Web

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

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

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 […]

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?

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

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

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.

Trained Creeping Fence
Trained Creeping Fence

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

Protecting or Fortifying?
Protecting or Fortifying?

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

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.

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

Aerial Climber
Aerial Climber

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

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. […]

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

Nearly all of the pots rests on stools or low tables

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 . . .

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.

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. . .

Trackside Asagao Space
Trackside Asagao Space

Dead space along the railway tracks in productive and enjoyable use

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

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

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