Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Garden Vending

This is not the prettiest or most exciting garden I've ever seen or documented here, but I thought it still quite irrisistible. This little grouping sat atop some vending machines next to a t-shirt shop in Waseda. A rather unlikely place, but not so unusual in many regards for Japan. A simple collection - geranium, a potted pine, and chrysanthemum greens - adding a bit of life to an otherwise nondescript alleyway.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rose Bush Takes Over House

This is another garden I have long admired as I run my regular errands. Watching it change and bloom throughout the seasons is a delight, but at this moment it is at a peak. As noted during a recent walk in Yanaka everything is in bloom at the moment, but roses seem particularly effervescent.

This two-story house has a very small footprint - houses closely abut on either side - but the climbing roses and assortment of other plants envelop it in a jungle. Every inch of space seems to have a pot with a plant or vine growing out of it. The support network - poles, netting, wire, and clips - is somewhat visible in the photos and keeps it all up and climbing. The front gate looked almost impassable with all the branches and blooms.The inside must be filled with delicious scent of the roses and feel miles away from the city life just outside the door.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Roof Garden in Waseda

I spotted this garden recently from a friends balcony and had to take a picture. I usually am only able to see these while looking up from street level, so I only get a hint of color and waving tree branches. Or I see them as the train flies by and there's no chance of a photo.

This one looks quite well-established with a variety of plants. Complete with a glass greenhouse and netting to swing over the top to provide a bit of shade and protect tasty berries on what I think just might be blueberry bushes from birds, it looks like a lovely little getaway. I needed a telescope to get a REALLY good look, which would have felt a bit like being a garden stalker. (There's a good pun in there that I need to work on, I think.) These photos will have to suffice for the moment.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Miniature Oasis

This little gem of a garden is just that - little. A tiny line-up of pots with a bunny and a small stone lotus pond behind creates a lush oasis. A refreshing feast for the eyes and heart on a warm afternoon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hidden Sea Garden

On the small lane that runs between the train tracks and a main thoroughfare is a little old house. Squished now between a high rise on one side and a four-story apartment building on the other, this little garden walk leads to one of the few older homes left in the area. The variety of succulents, annuals, and perennials mixed with little statues, seashells, corals, and other garden knick-knacks collected over a lifetime means there is always something new to see.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tiered House Garden

Our neighborhood is, in its way, rather old. Settled as farmland during the Edo Period it is really only within the last thirty or forty years that development has overrun the former fields. There are still a few remnant farms, but those can really only be glimpsed in old farmhouses and a handful of old fields. Interspersed among the new apartment buildings and modern private homes are small lanes of closely constructed one story homes. Many of the residents fill every last inch of space with pots and plants, and the one pictured here today is no exception. Yesterday, in fact we spotted the owner up on a ladder watering plants on the roof over his car.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pots of Gold

I spotted this little collection of potted marigolds under the train tracks near a favorite free bike parking lot (a rarity in itself) here in Tokyo. Surrounded by cement, tarmac, cars, and gravel these little blooms absolutely lit up the space even without the late afternoon sun. Someone not only potted them up and carefully arranged them, but also put up the cones and barriers to protect them from enthusiastic pedestrians making their way to the nearby restaurants and shops. These little spots that create these unexpected moments are one of my favorite things about living in Japan.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Purple Pot Line Up

Last Spring while out running this garden veritably leaped out at me with color. The tiny space is full of pots of purple flowers that can be seen almost everywhere here. Creating a cloud of color on this corner, it's interspersed with a few tulip bulbs and other scattered blooms. It's one of a line of small garden spaces that are set back just a tiny bit from a busy intersection and two busy roadways. A tall white dogwood is just in its prime nearby, as well.