(now and again)

Tokyo DIY Gardening Hands-on gardening for a crowded city

Rainy Day Ramble in far West SuburbZ

Summary: Rainy day ramble cut short by torrential downpour. Rainbows, curbside sunflowers and chilis, stolen pumpkins and watermelon, hot chili taste test, a present of a large terracotta planter, arid deadspace, swollen canals, blueberry picking spots, blueberry jam vending machine, massive suburban green curtain, hiding out amongst the kiwifruit plantation.

A rainy day always refreshes me and gives me energy to make a book (a-small-lab.com/projects/child-scale-city) (or something). A double rainbow helps me relax in the morning.
Double Rainbow in Suburban Tokyo
Curbside sunflowers are a key element of Tokyo summers (evidence here Tokyo-DIY-Gardening.org and on Tokyo Green Space).
Tokyo Curbside Sunflowers
Tokyo Curbside Sunflowers
Tokyo Curbside Sunflowers
Curbside sunflowers are kept company by this pretty flower.
Curbside sunflowers are kept company by this pretty flower.
Witness frugal care and support for curbside plantings.
Witness frugal care and support for curbside plantings.
It’s reassuring and calming to discover that these curbside chilies are back again this year (evidence from two years ago tokyo-diy-gardening.org/curbside-chili-garden/).
Roadside Chilis
After rudely awakening the gardener from his afternoon nap/shochu he tells me this is the tenth year of raising chilies in this rare spot of open dirt. This year he also grew watermelons, which he trained up over the hedge – the dense plant structure softly cradled the ripening and swelling fruit (actually a berry, not a melon) but shortly before the crucial moment of harvesting it was stolen. The same thing happened with his pumpkins last year, and his potted tomatoes that he was growing on the other side of the curb. Chilies are of no interest to thieves, he tells me.
Roadside Chilis
Roadside Chilis
Perhaps as payback for interrupting his afternoon I am offered a hot chili, with the assurance that ‘it’s mild’. Nibbling off a rice grain’s worth I am still burping hot oils an hour later.
Witness frugal care and support for curbside plantings.
To keep me from exacting my own revenge in the form of a midnight pee on his crops he offers me his large terracotta pot for my blackberry plant. I accept his terms.
Tokyo Suburban Pot
On another stretch of the road I’m always saddened and inspired by empty and arid curbside deadspace….
On another stretch of the road I'm always saddened and inspired by empty and arid curbside deadspace.
…and arid corner soils.
On another stretch of the road I'm always saddened and inspired by empty and arid curbside deadspace.
Tokyo canals are usually dry as a bone, even a short burst of rain turns these flood protection measures (as well as the streets) into raging torrents. I wonder if Tokyo’s flood vulnerability would improve if more of the concrete and asphalt was returned to soils and plants. Perhaps it’s too later (at least in terms of timeframes that humans can comprehend). (More evidence on Tokyo canals here tokyogreenspace.com/?s=canal).
Tokyo Flood Measures
A wide surburban road near Tezuka Architects’ Fuji Kindergarten hosts many blueberry and kiwifruit orchards.
Suburban tokyo Orchards
Vending machines dispense blueberry honey jam and kiwifruit, not synthetic energy drinks and fake coffee.
Vending machines dispense blueberry honey jam and kiwifruit, not synthetic energy drinks and fake coffee.
No pesticides used in this orchard.
No pesticides used in this orchard.
Kiwifruit ready for the eating!
Kiwifruit ready for the eating!
Only use 100 yen coins in this machine.
Only use 100 yen coins in this machine.
Contact details for Tachikawa blueberry picking.
Contact details for Tachikawa blueberry picking.
Out in the western suburbs of Tokyo homeowners set and break new boundaries in green curtainage.
Breaking new boundaries in suburban Tokyo green curtains
Breaking new boundaries in suburban Tokyo green curtains
A kiwifruit orchard crowbarred in between single family dwellings, a mechanic’s garage, a storage facility and impressive buildings from a homestead with a long history may provide shelter as the downpour begins. I should have listened to the vege store owner when she warned of the ‘danger to come’ as she handed over my looooong kyushu nasu.
Shelter found in neighbourhood Kiwifruit orchard
Not much shelter but a chance to test the ripeness of the local kiwifruit.
Shelter found in neighbourhood Kiwifruit orchard
Shelter found in neighbourhood Kiwifruit orchard


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