Photoshoot for Odelic

Yesterday, we had a photoshoot for Odelic.
Odelic is a supplier of lights (house and garden), we use frequently when adding lights to a garden.

This shoot was done by Odelic itself for their catalogue.
They want to show how their products could look like when used.
The place for this shoot was a rooftop and a first floor, we designed earlier this year.
It is a building, which combines office space with apartments.

The owner loves green and nature and wanted to show it by using wood, interesting trees and evergreen climbing plants.
But of course, there should also be a modern factor, which is shown on the facade of the building and the unusual appearance of the aluminium fence for the climbers to grow.



The rooftop is a resting space for the employees of the companies as well as for the tenants.
There is a wooden terrace with chairs and tables for this purpose.
But most of the rooftop is covered with lawn.
This year, it is a combination of Phyla canescens, flowering plants and grass.
It is meant as a playground for dogs. Something, which is very rare in Japan.
All around the rooftop are planters with conifers for either give the image of privacy and for providing one more safety belt for not letting the dogs reach the surrounding fence.



It is wonderful to see the dogs play on this lawn.
In Japan, a dog leash has to be used any time.
This place is the only possibility for them to really run. And also to play and fight.


I didn't help much with the design of this place, but I was involved in the planting process and made the plant coordination in front of the entrance.
I am very happy, that I was involved in creating a green oasis for humans and dogs!


Early Autumn Blues


Are you enjoying the nice weather and cooler temperatures of early autumn?




Niwashyu staff Anika is enjoying it to its fullest!

When not working on new design projects, I am working with all my might on new eBooks for Real Japanese Gardens.



新しいデザインを作って以外、私は一生懸命新しいReal Japanese Gardensの電子書籍を書いています。


Until next year, my goal is to complete all our guides to Tokyo’s gardens!

Recently we published the guide about famous Koishikawa Korakuen. 

Hamarikyu is soon to come and Rikugien will follow soon after.






Now is the perfect time to visit gardens in peace before the buzzling time of autumn foliage start.

Maybe with one of our guides?



多分、Real Japanese Gardensのガイドブックと?





While doing the research, I am enjoying our green terrace with a Cafe Latte.

As a real German, I am totally addicted to coffee! 

In my free time, I am now enjoying visiting Japanese Gardens, old temples and shrines, the mountains nd studying the art of real Japanese Gardens.

What are you doing these days?


Visit Real Japanese Gardens Website here: 

About Container Arrangements

One month ago, Niwashyu staff Anika attended a class about container design.

It was held by Gabriele Kubo of Flower Design School Hana-Ami at the Flagstore of Youkaen in Sakurashinmachi.

The participants learned the basics of design principles and how to pot the plants together into a planter.

I as a gardener already knew the basics, but was fascinated by how Gabriele hold the class. She is a strict teacher, but one really learns a lot, when listening well. Her combined knowledge of German and Japanese design, can widen one’s horizon.

If you are interested in Flower design, please visit the website of Hana-Ami School. Classes are held in Japanese, but Gabriele is also fluent in English and German.

Gabriele during the lesson.

Arrangements done by Gabriele.

I am often designing planters for private use or for customers.
There are some great differences in using planters, I want to write about today.

First of all, there are two styles of container design.
If you integrate big planters into your balcony design, you might want them to look great in all seasons and also to have them look good for a long time.

The other possibility for planters is a seasonal planter. These ones most often happen to be small but stylish pots with perennials or annuals, which are flowering for one season.

Winter arrangement done by me.

When designing a planter of the first style, there are again some possibilities how doing the design.
Always consider the surroundings. Sometimes, one single tree or symbol plant is doing well without anything else.

A single plant in a container. No need for more.

Sometimes, you want to combine a tree or special plant with smaller perennials, evergreens or ground covers.

Olive with evergreens.

And sometimes, you want a flower bed in pots.

Herb garden in a pot. It might be not beautiful in every season.

Always think about the seasons!

If you plant a deciduous tree, you might want some evergreen plants to its feet in winter.
When designing a flower bed in pots, you should think about the flowering times of each plant. Choose one or more for every season and combine them with some evergreens.
This kind of planter design is the most difficult one. It’s not only about flowering time, but also about shape, colour, height and sense!

A very maintenance intensive design.

The second design style is comparable with the above mentioned flower bed in pots. You have to create a planter, which is interesting and looks good. The colours have to fit, the plants should have different heights and the leaves different shapes.
A good way to choose plants for these designs is, to go to a plant shop, selecting plants and put them into your basket in the way you would like to plant it later. You can already guess how it could look like.
Garden centers should also have example planters, where you can borrow ideas.
Please be aware, that this arrangements are not meant to look nice for a long time!

It already looked totally different only one month after planted.

And they definitely need more maintenance than the above mentioned planters.
Of course you can choose evergreen plants too, but perennials, annuals or flowering plants may need to be exchanged during the seasons. You will need to cut off old flowers and resize evergreens regularly. Also old and dead leaves have to be removed.

When maintained in the right way, this arrangement can be enjoyed all year round.

Plants are living things. There are fast- and slow growing plants, but they all evolve. They will never look always the same.
To have a great garden, balcony or planter, one has to do maintenance on a regular basis, to keep plants in shape. There is no „no maintenance“ garden when plants are involved.
This is one basic rule, one should never forget.

A green terrace, which needs regular maintenance. Picture before maintenance.












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