Bling Gardens: Kokedama Comes to Americ…huh?
— This blog was first published 4 years ago. I thought string gardens would be a passing fancy but, no, I was wrong again in calling an end to a trend. Hey, at least I got miniature gardening right, right?? ;o) I still enjoy these photos as I wasn’t able to keep them alive for very long – I was unable to regulate the dampness of the soil that these plants needed. If you try this, chose drought-tolerant plants that don’t mind when the soil dries out, like tropical succulents for example. —
String gardens. It’s the new thing. Trees and plants dangling from the ceiling, suspended by a piece of string.
But, something was missing.
There was certain beauty in the simplicity but these dangling plants were lacking that little something to make them, well, you know, pretty.
So, I spent some time in the studio over the last couple of weekends tinkering with the idea. Yea, I know, it’s how I unwind…
And THEN, my friend Christina Salwitz, author and garden guru of the popular blog, The Personal Garden Coach, highlighted them in her reporting of the big Philadelphia Flower Show this past week so, I HAD to get back in the studio to finish them off last night.;o)
Here’s are the results:
Bling Garden with Green Tara. Trying different combinations of materials to see what works. That gold band is about 3″ wide. I kept nicking the fragile leaves… !!
Kokedama is the Japanese art of string gardening. It’s kind of like a hanging bonsai in the sense that the plant’s roots are confined to a small space – but without the container. Most of the instructions I found on the Interweb say that you need special kind of soil, Bonsai soil or Akadama soil, but I just used a fine mix of peat, sifted compost and vermiculite. In theory, we are looking for a soil that retains moisture but still drains. We don’t want the roots wet all the time or they will rot – but nor do we want the root ball to dry out all the time. We shall see if that works…
I wanted more than a “string” to hang them with. In this case, with such a chunky chain that I chose, this bling garden needed a bigger accessory, of the same color, to balance the boldness of of the chain. The leaves took more abuse with all the experimenting…
How-to Kokedama simply put: The plant is planted in a ball of soil, wrapped in peat, then wrapped in sheet moss and tied together with a string. I figured there was lots of room for play…
After this one was done, I had to laugh. The focus is really off the plant now that there are so many things poked into it. That’s an old doily dyed with paint that is wrapped around the sheet moss.
I put up a hook and chain in the studio where I could see how they hung while I was working on them. It felt like I was dressmaking at times with all the primping and poking. Too. Much. Fun.
This bling garden turned out to look like a present. Lol!
I kept fussing and fixing it until I realized that they should be created “in-the-round,” meaning that it’s going to be viewed from all side. So, however it hangs or turns, it will still look good.
I used hemp string together with the ribbon to tie it up and make it hang securely, the pearls and ribbon are just tacked on. The little fairy house was a perfect fit that worked with the coloring too. I’m not sure how the moss will react with it smothered like that with the doily… I kinda hid the plant though! It’s all bling, no plant. Lol!
This poor begonia took some abuse during all the poking and prodding. We’ll see how the plant grow in – and if they can handle all that “bling” too.
Now the plants become trees with a smaller accessory at the base. The pink ribbon is reinforced with fishing line.
As with miniature gardening, the personality of the garden changes with the accessories. This one takes on a rustic air with the wagon wheel and bucket.
Small toys work too… Lol!
Keeping it simple is very sweet – and puts the focus back on the plants.
Water them often because they can dry out pretty quickly. I use a spray bottle but I take them to the sink to do that – it’s the only way to water the moss to keep it green. You can use a squeeze bottle too, and squeeze the water directly into the root ball. Again, watch where they drip if they are hanging inside and protect your surfaces from the water. Note that any cloth you use, like the lace doily I used above, will get dirty quickly and start to look messy. Take a photo of your work for your brag book.
If you liked this, checkout the other crafty, garden fun we are having here.
Help spread the eye candy with one of the buttons below!