The Japanese Asa-Gao

Green curtain?

Yes, at least that’s what the Japanese call them. What I am talking about are curtains made of plants and flowers. I am pretty sure this kind of plants have been around for ages, but after the big earthquake and the growing awareness of Japan’s energy consumption, creating a green curtain in front of your apartment or house became very popular. Now just 3 years afterwards it is already starting to loose its popularity again…

Green curtains can be created by lots of types of climbing plants. The most popular ones are the ones me and my wife “specialized” on, called Asa-Gao and Yoru-Gao. The Asa-Gao develops its flowers in the early morning. They only last for a few hours though so that new flowers bloom every morning. The same counts for the Yoru-Gao, except that the flowers of it bloom in the evening/night and the there is less color variation. Only white to be precise.

When we first rented our house-apartment there was no asphalt around it. So we decided to place some grass in front of the entrance and give those climbing flowers a go. We didn’t expect them to grow that well to be honest. After the rainy season in Mai/June they start to explode, growing nearly 30-40cm a day. So the height we calculated didn’t last for more than 2 weeks.

Our Green Curtain in 2012

After that we had to prevent them growing any further. In the years after the first go, we tried a few variations by creating more climbing possibilities and placing them also in different places around the house. In the meantime the owner of the apartments decided to place asphalt around them, but fortunately he was kind enough to leave our gardens as they are. I just hope that we don’t have to fix the missing asphalt up our self’s when we leave *g*

To be honest, the sun is so strong during July and August, the effect of this green curtain is hardly noticeable. The temperature inside didn’t get any cooler, but hey, it looks cool doesn’t it? We got and still get lots of compliments from hour neighbors about how green our apartment is 🙂 I even got asked if I am a gardening profession. Probably because those plants usually take a little more time to grow. Green thumb, radiation, or just good soil? I don’t know. Fact is they grow like hell in this climate.

Gallery (2012-2014)


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