Flower breaking through the pavement

Much of Tokyo is covered in concrete and pavement. In the photo above, a low traffic small street has impermeable pavement. There is a wide, unnecessary brick sidewalk in the foreground built to accompany a recent apartment building. Two private residences also have concrete car-parks and cement surrounds. If you look very closely, to the left of the red traffic cone, a canna flower is breaking through the concrete and blooming.

Up close, the flower is brilliant on a sunny November day. Even more remarkable is that the plant has somehow managed to break through the pavement. How did it get there? How does it survive the city’s relentless drive to bury every grain of soil? Do the neighbors appreciate this floral beauty and the power of nature over the built environment?

After the jump, a closer view of the plant in its context.

In the context of such poor urban design ,this brilliant canna flower breaking through provides some hope that nature will regenerate despite our best efforts to displace it.


  1. I love it!! This is a fantastic example of nature’s resiliency and determination to be. Thank you for the great photos and insights.

    Over this past summer, I had a problem with some critters biting off the head of the mammoth sunflower I had planted. The plant redirected it’s growth to generate new heads. It did not obtain nearly it’s full height , but it ended the season in blossom and full of seeds!

    I’m so glad to find your blog and learn of the great work that Tokyo Green Space is doing. I took the liberty to share one of your photos (giving you credit) so as to link it with these words of Dr. Jane Goodall:

    “Roots creep underground everywhere and make a firm foundation. Shoots seem very weak, but to reach the light they can break open brick walls. Imagine that the brick walls are all the problems we have inflicted on our planet. Hundreds and thousands of roots and shoots, hundreds and thousands of people around the world, can break through these walls. YOU can change the world.”

    Check it out on our Facebook Page -GMO Truth Alliance!

    Note with photo: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=227716198030
    Page: http://facebook.com/GMOTruth

    Happy New Decade!!! ::)) This is going to be a good one!

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth, for your comment. I love your Dr Jane Goodall quote, which seems all the more relevant when considering our urban environments. Good luck with your GMO awareness work, and best wishes for a new decade.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s