(now and again)

Tokyo DIY Gardening Hands-on gardening for a crowded city

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

Tokyo-DIY-gardening Workshop @ 3331 Arts Chiyoda
Tokyo-DIY-gardening Workshop @ 3331 Arts Chiyoda

Create a city map identifying Tokyo’s greenest and greyest neighborhoods and places!

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.

Zoushigaya Micro-Garden Series #1
Zoushigaya Micro-Garden Series #1

Old Tokyo neighborhoods like Zoushigaya are full of plant lovers who manage to create gardens where there is almost no space…..

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 as Storage
Tree as Storage

Space-saving green storage system.

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.

Curbside Planters
Curbside Planters

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

Heavy Duty Hanging Garden
Heavy Duty Hanging Garden

Large plastic laundry hook serves as support for a large hanging planter.

Maison Harajuku
Maison Harajuku

A single vine originates from the right side of the front of the building……..

A Single Manicured Tree
A Single Manicured Tree

I like the generosity of the owner who shares this tree equally with passers-by and the residence’s inhabitants and guests.

Beautiful Magnolia in a Tight Spot
Beautiful Magnolia in a Tight Spot

Even the smallest horizontal space can support a substantial tree, with seasonal color and scent.

Moss Covered Roofs and Walls
Moss Covered Roofs and Walls

Even mundane structures come alive when we let nature colonize our habitat.

Fresh Flowers in Freeway Service Station
Fresh Flowers in Freeway Service Station

I love the care that someone is taking in a space that others are just passing through…..

Coco Husk Soil
Coco Husk Soil

For urban gardeners, one key question is how to get plants, soil and pot from store to house…….

Gorgeous Tree Garden in Sendaji
Gorgeous Tree Garden in Sendaji

So many people think that all they can plant are simple flower boxes, when vertical solutions can be so much more lush and interesting….