Aug 11, 2018
Gallery - Yards in Japan
So I have been obsessed with my yard here in Japan since getting it.
I have always loved flowers and plants and trees. I admired my grandparent's yard with three full flower beds and acres of nut trees and fruit trees each meticulously chosen and planted years before I was born.
Most of the places I have lived were never mine nor could be thought of as mine because they were either on rented land or a family member’s. I mean, after kiddom and those early years of not really being aware of anything more than what my parents had, it wasn't until I was in high school when I first figured out that growing a plant was a skill, not just some magic that a few humans happen to possess.
But growing things takes time, patience, and money. And growing them in a way that is attractive can take a lot of time a lot of patience and a lot of money. Not everyone has all three of these things and in Japan, that is reflected in the areas around peoples homes. Thinking of what I want my own home to look like, I realized I would need to rethink what I think a yard should look like.
Number one we don't have the money for a meticulous well-maintained garden. Even with all the money, I could never really have this, just because it calls for more space than Japan has to offer. Many of the higher end homes look something like this.
So if I don't want to focus on what I can’t have, I decided to try and focus on what I don't want.
This is where my husband and I butt heads a bit. The easiest solution is my husband's dream. A concrete paradise. Those with money but little patience are likely to just pay someone to pave everything over.
Stark yet ascetically pleasing it is the epitome of low maintenance. But there is little to no green. My nightmare.
There is also the overrun look where the person clearly loves plants and flowers and pretty much put every kind they love in the few square meters of the ground they own.
While this can be absolutely gorgeous if done well,
it would take far more patience than I can afford with three children and a low budget. With the way things grow here one week with the stomach bug and the garden would end up in such disrepair Id never be able to get it looking nice.
Another option I don't want to happen is turning the whole yard into a farm. Sure it is efficient and provides food for the table, but isn't pretty.
I still want my vegetables but they don't have to be in a row with funky stakes poking out and unsightly netting or whatnot everywhere.
Even with a big yard many still seem to go the container garden route. I can see why with the number of invasive weeds invading everything. But this option doesn't work for my wallet when a sturdy long lasting flower pot costs 500 to 5000 yen.
Or maybe kill everything and just have barren ground.
I suppose the image of a perfect yard has a good balance of open space, efficiency and productivity yet remains aesthetically pleasing. For how much Japanese people tend to focus on the face and look of things, gorgeous fruit, picture-perfect pancakes, immaculate fashion sense, I feel the majority of people focus on one thing in the areas around their homes instead of balance and beauty of nature in their yards.
That isn't to say I haven't seen well-landscaped yards. They are just different than I would expect.
American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too