What, you may ask, what is Kokedama? Kokedama (translation “moss ball”) is a Japanese variant of bonsai, the practice of removing a root system from its container, (a plant from its pot), surrounding it in a mud cake and wrapping the whole mess in moss before winding it in string, leaving a long loop from which to suspend the plant. The original Japanese form of Kokedama was then displayed on an altar-like platform.
Nowadays it’s less about minimalist displays and more about transforming everyday houseplants into self-sufficient decorative dangling objects. Note the words self-sufficient.
That’s what sold me from the off when I attended my first, and possibly last (because – proficient, sort of), Kokedama workshop, courtesy of the charming Sophie Lee, founder of geo–fleur, a few weeks ago, to publicise both contemporary gardening show GROW London and her upcoming workshop there. (All details at the end of the post.)
Here’s Sophie’s finished Kokedama:
I managed to finish it very quickly: there’s a point where you just think, I am never going to get all this moss wrapped securely round this dripping wet compost and then it suddenly comes together. Copious amounts of garden twine are especially useful here (you do need to remember to leave a long enough piece of twice at the beginning as this is what the Kokedama will be suspended from eventually).
And then I slipped my new horticultural work of art into a carrier and transported it home in glory on the London Underground. I’m very happy to announce that a full two months later my Kokedama is still thriving.
I’m actually gobsmacked: I’m so bad with houseplants that I’ve even managed to kill an airplant and, since I attended the workshop, I have been out of the country in Peru, California, Bermuda and Mykonos, and I’ve only dunked it in water twice – the day I made it, and last week.
Still green, still not crispy.
I think that’s an overall WIN for the Kokedama.
GROW London: The Contemporary Garden & Lifestyle Fair www.growlondon.com
GROW London is London‘s first and only contemporary gardening show, which takes place on Hampstead Heath from 24 – 26 June. As part of the free talks and workshops programme, plant specialists geo–fleur will be hosting a workshop on Kokedama on Friday 24 June from 2.30 – 3.30pm. Details here.
If you can’t make the Kokedama workshop at GROW London, then Sophie runs both Kokedama and Terrarium workshops throughout the year.
With thanks to Sophie Lee of geo-fleur & Camron PR for the fab workshop.