Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Chrismasy Kokedama - Ivy

Wrong way as Bonsai? Probably!

But it is a fun to put some Christmas decortion on Kokedama, and why not?

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Kokedama - Cyclamen 4

Cyclamen

Mmm...this picture is dark...but I will put this because this cyclemen was my favourite. I liked its colour of the flowers and standing posture.

One of my local friends bought this for her daughter. It is looked after well in a lovely home now.

Kokedama - Pteris Fern

Pteris

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Kokedama - Ivy 'Lady Frances'

A common plant - Ivy. Maybe too common to be so appealing in a plant pot, but in Kokedama (a moss ball) it has increased its ornamental value with a graceful manner:)

I do like Ivy. I have learnt there are many different kinds of Ivy, more than I could imagine, and have been fascinated with the differences in colours and shapes of their leaves. This one is Lady Frances...What an elegant name it has!

*I think this is Lady Frances, but if it is wrong, please do let me know. I will be more than grateful for your kindness.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Kokedama - False Aralia / Dizygotheca Elegantissima

False Aralia / Dizygotheca Elegantissima

Mmm...this picture is dark isn't it? Never mind! (The screen is disturbing, too. Never mind!)

I was not very keen on this plant, False Aralia, when it sat in an ordinary plant pot; however, I have been very impressed with it creating a weeping atmosphere in Kokedama (a moss ball). As a Japanese, who finds beauty in sorrow, my wabi-sabi mind is tickled by this Kokedama, personally! What do you think?

*What is "wabi-sabi"?

Hard to explain precisely what it is even in my native language Japanese! But do I feel wabi-sabi? Yes!

Wabi-sabi is said to be a unique aesthetic sense that Japanese naturally have. I have found one good English description for it on the Internet. It says that wabi-sabi is "Austere Refinement and Quiet Simplicity." What a graceful way to say.

Hang on a minute. Does "Austere Refinement and Quiet Simplicity" have anything to do with my "tickled wabi-sabi mind"? Mmm...I feel I might have misunderstood the word wabi-sabi in my entire life... Never mind!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Kokedama-Cyclamen 3

Cyclamen is very attractive. Their unique petals are adorable and silver-edged leaves are impressive. I love Cyclamen.

Cyclamen is very common, so it may not be an eye-catching plant for some people, but in Kokedama I think it maximizes its ornamental value taking advantage of green moss.

Moss is great. As soon as moss is laid at the foot of a Bonsai tree, it brings new life to the tree, making you imagine the tree breathing in the mother earth. I think Kokedama is similar to that. Different from potted plants, Kokedama (moss ball) makes me picture their lives in nature.

By the way, I think there is a certain pleasure in Kokedama. That is the container. Choosing a container for Kokedama is like choosing a skirt for the tops. I feel so and enjoy that way maybe because I seldom wear skirt in my every day life, though.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Kokedama-Asparagus Fern (Plumosus)

A pleasure to explore my imagination with one Kokedama

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Went to the Malvern Autumn Show 1

On 27th & 28th September the Malvern Autumn Show was at the Three Counties Showground.

Malvern is a beautiful town with a lot of character in Worcestershire. The town is located at the foot of the Malvern Hills. Walking the Malvern Hills is full of wonderful discovery and the view from the top of is breathtaking.

My husband and I went to the show, me looking forward to flower arrangement and Bonsai exhibitions, my husband looking forward to nothing. (This is our typical style of outing.)

I would like to show some photos of flower arrangement and Bonsai here.

This is the 3rd prized. I liked this arrangement the best of all there. The balance between green and brown, liveliness and rustiness are so well executed, and the white owls are placed very effectively, I think. (I don't know anything about flower arrangement, though. Sorry!) I also like the idea of using Polypore. This arrangement makes me imagine myself taking a deep breath in a forest.

This is the 2nd prized one. Look! Kokedama!!

And this arrangement is awarded the first prize. I felt from this display a feast of autumn, feast in autumn haze.

Exhibitors' imagination, creativity, efforts, patience, courage...so amazing. I utterly marvelled at every arrangement there. I wished I could have slept with the exhibitions!

Next is Bonsai. I managed to take only one photo.

Japanese Black Pine

No need for words. Simply so impressive, isn't it? The expression of nature's beauty beyond the perfection that Mother Nature provides, Bonsai. (Somebody said so!)

The world of Bonsai is really fascinating but I have been too terrified to get into it. My grand father and father loved Bonsai, especially Satsuki Azaleas. They used to buy not only Bonsai Satsuki Azaleas but also a number of large hemispherically-shaped Satsuki for garden shrubs. They were kind of collectors and they spent a fortune to buy them. Oh, they were just happy to have them, very happy. They appreciated them, took care of them and killed them, WHY?? Their buying-killing method left me in trauma for having Bonsai.

So, I have been enjoying only looking at (tree) Bonsai or having Bonsai of herbaceous plants including Kokedama, but recently I have got a bit interested in cultivating (tree) Bonsai, oh, dear. I hope the gene from my grand father and father will be shut down.

Anyway, so good to see the Malvern Autumn Show. The weather was gorgeous as well. I hope to put the next article "Went to the Malvern Autumn Show 2" soon.

Kokedama-Asparagus Sprengeri

Asparagus Sprengeri

I like displaying Asparagasu Sprengeri on a candle stick holder like this, the stems overhanging the moss ball. Hmm...maybe better to use a taller candle stick holder, though.

It has somehow a gentle atmosphere in this photo:) The real one looks vigorous, full of the energy of life, by the way.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Local Horticulture Show 2


Last weekend another local Horticulture Show was held. The show was set up in the grounds of the Ramada Hotel and the size of the show was a lot larger than the one last time.
These photos are of our Kokedama table, look! Nice and cluttered? I agree with you!


Can you see something like a wooden spoon in the photo? Actually it is a wooden spoon. It is by the stone deer. That spoon was all hand-carved by my husband! Not hand-finished! Look at his talent! And that was the first spoon he carved. I think it is amazing. Now he's learning to carve with a machine, this is 21st century after all.



That log the Kokedama sit on, it is my husband's work. He cut a piece of wood, carved it and made that nice Kokedama container. It is not shown well in the photo, but it is really nice. More people were interested in the log container, actually! I think Kokedama and the log container harmonize so well that maximize the beauty of nature. Thoughtful choice of a container will make a difference. I learned it again on that day.

Exhibiting in the Horticulture Show was a wonderful pleasure and truly a good experience. We are likely to do it again next year and hope we will have a better display then. My husband will be doing more wood work next year, so he can make some nice display shelves for Kokedama, hehehe.

Kokedama-Bromelia / Guzmania


Friday, 12 September 2008

Kokedama-Cyclamen

Cyclamen

One of important flowering plants for winter, Cyclamen. It is very common but I love that flower. Their velvety petals are fascinating. They look like flying fairies, don't they?

Flowering plants are also usable in Kokedama. Kokedama is a very effective way to bring out their beauty, isn't it?

Kokedama - Scouring Rush Horsetail

Scouring Rush Horsetail

A couple of different plants can be used to create one Kokedama, however, I prefer a simple Kokedama, one plant on one moss ball. I think it brings out maximum of strength and graciousness that each plant has.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Best Season for Moss



Cold and damp, the best season in Britain has come! Liar!

But for the moss, it is true, isn't it? The moss on my Kokedama is now glossy green producing many capsules. Expression of vivid life in a humble plant, I think that is keen beauty.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Local Horticulture Show

I have not written for a long time! I have been very unwell until recently. If there are people who were looking forward to visiting my blog for a new post, I am very sorry.

By the way, a local Horticulture Society held a show last weekend. The photo above is a part of their exhibition, Dahlia.

Dahlia...my absolute favorite flowers, why are they so perfect? Each petal is perfecly arranged to open up as an intact sphere. Breathtaking.

Look at this photo. My Kokedama section!

This was my first time to show my Kokedama in public. I was not well at all, so I was not sure if I could make enough quantity to exhibit, but finally I managed to display without a huge gap:)

As soon as I placed Kokedama on the table, quite a few people from the society came and asked me and my husband about Kokedama. After the show opened, Kokedama caught many people's attention. We were very busy with answering their questions. I nearly bit my tongue sometimes.

"New."

"Clean."

"Novelty."

"Unique."

They are the coments from visiters which I got most often. I thought it was interesting. I think a lot of Japanese find peacefulness or coolness or tranquillity...something like those in Kokedama. I presume the moss makes us Japanese feel so. Maybe it has something to do with the Zen mind which is deeply rooted in Japanese people whether or not we practice it daily.

Anyway, that was a very nice and different weekend for me and my husband. Very nice and productive weekend:)

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Kokedama-Dwarf Umbrella Tree

Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera Arboricola)

One day I may find a little person is taking shelter under this tree sat on the Kokedama:)

Kokedama-Asplenium Fern


In hot summer time Fern Kokedama can be an oasis in your room:)

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Kokedama-Cactus


Kokedama with cacti looks so unique, paticurally with these feet-like cacti. Also, this Kokedma looks like a rabbit face to my eyes, cute!

By the way, isn't the kokedama stand great? It is actually up-side-down retro glass:)

Kokedama-Spider Plant & Creeping Fig

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Kokedama-Strawberry "Elan"


Strawberry is one of my favourite motif. This one is called "Elan," very popular for a hanging basket.

Strawberry Kokedama looks sweet and tastes sweet, doesn't it:P I love looking at it when it is trailing down bearing a pretty small red berry on the edge. I used a dish for this Kokedama but I think it will be very lovely on a candlestick especially when it bears fruits.

Friday, 23 May 2008

Kokedama-Sedum


This unique plant is Sedum and I think it is "Peperomia Ferreyrae," but I am not sure. When I bought this Sedum, I asked a shop lady its name but she did not know.

Sedum / Succulent is one of my favourite plants to use for Kokedma. They are ever so easy to take care of. Spray the moss ball or soak the moss ball in a bowl of water just to wet the moss sometimes, that's all you need:)

Sunday, 13 April 2008

How To Keep Kokedama 1

To keep Kokedama well, watering is the key. It usually depends on a season, the size of Kokedama and what plants are used. There are several different good ways to water, but what I do basically is spray the moss lightly every day and soak the moss ball in a bowl of water for a while (20-60 minutes) when I feel Kokedama "light" (once every 7-20 days). If a plant like Houseleek is used, watering is needed even less frequently. Be careful not to water too often because the soil will be spoilt and the roots will go rotten. Pampering is not good for Kokedama, even though you need a certain level of care. Mmm...that sounds like a talk about children or pets, my ears have just started hurting, why?

By the way, when you get used to keeping your Kokedama, I think you can find your own way to water it that is more suitable for your life style. Your Kokedama will adapt itself to it. (I always get impressed when I see that.) Also, if you forget to water or spray sometimes, Kokedama will not dry out so quickly like a small tree bonsai, so please don't worry:)



This is a picture of me soaking Kokedama. Before soaking, it is best to leave the water at least overnight if you use tap water. When you soak it, bubbles will be coming out from the moss and soil as you can see in the picture. Soak at least until the bubbles stop, but most of the time it is better to leave it in the water longer. When you finish soaking and lift Kokedama, it should feel "heavy", and that is good. Then drain well before put it back on the container. Make sure there is no water left in the container especially if you keep it indoor, because water may get off then it can kill the moss. Moss likes cleanliness and freshness despite appearance.


Lastly, about plant feeding, Kokedama does not need feeding basically. Moss dislikes it. Also, Kokedama does not need to grow large.


I hope this article will be a help. Thank you for reading:) If you have a question or a different opinion...just anything and send it to me, I would be very grateful to you:)

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Containers

Thank you very much for visiting my blog.

I started selling my Kokedama on ebay the other day. I thank those who bought my Kokedama, and those of you taking time to come here to find out more about Kokedama through my ebay listing.

Today I received a question about containers for Kokedama through ebay. I will take this as a chance to write about containers for Kokedama.

I think choosing a container is one of the enjoyments about Kokedama. Every time you change containers, Kokedama will show you its new look. I think the enjoyment is similar to that of a dress-up doll's. Also how quick, just swap one to another! No fuss no mess.

I enjoy using anything in my house for Kokedama. Saucers of teacups, cake plates, trinket plates, soap dishes...just anything flat or shallow curved. Things like a chipped plate actually makes a lovely container and it will make Kokedama more "My Kokedama". It actually rescues a lot of things that were once destined to go to the bin. I hardly buy containers to display at home, but when I fancy buying one, I buy it at a charity shop. Charity shops are very good places to find Kokedama containers. Buying from charity shops also help reduce the amount of the rubbish in the local area.

By the way, the reason why I recommend flat containers as the moss can develop fungus in a deep one (reduces air circulation and traps water) especially when you keep Kokedama inside, and it may turn into Mold Ball Bonsai, not Moss Ball Bonsai any more. I know that because I did it. (Deep containers can be used for short-time display of course, though.)

Lastly I put some examples of my odd containers. They are my most favourite containers. Some completely ignores colour & material coordination, what an avant-garde display! Or my eyes need fixing, hahaha! (Please you come baaaack!)


Pot lid

Candle holder

Slate

Tile

Used to be a part of my cooking bowl

Not a single clue but it's there

Friday, 7 March 2008

Kokedama-Houseleek & Odd Container


This funny face is Houseleek. I think this is Aeonium, but I am not sure. It is difficult for me to distinguish one from another in this kind of Houseleek. If somebody knows precisely what it is, please let me know. I will be so grateful to you.

One of real advantages of Kokedama I think is that you can change containers easily. Much easier than with potted tree bonsai, you can combine a container with your Kokedama; whenever you like and whatever container you like with. Just change it, how easy! No mess and no fuss about it like tree bonsai.

Well, here is a unique example of a container; it used to be a part of my cooking bowl. I dropped the bowl by accident when I was cooking and it got broken. That moment I shouted. The moment was when I confirmed the thing I had & have kept confirming since I was born; I am too clumsy. But I happened to notice that it would be nice as Kokedama container. Oh, now I remember why I thought so, because there was a shortage of container, so I just put one of my Kokedama on the broken bowl to save a space, hahaha! Anyway, it is now ranked high among my Kokedama containers.

By the way, what does it look like? This Kokedama looks like the 4 flowerets are dancing in one oversized dress! Is is just me?

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Kokedama-Calluna Vulgaris "Ruby Slinger"


Oh, green and yellow. It is the spring colour. How vigorous. The combination of green and yellow gives me a boost:D

Monday, 3 March 2008

Kokedama-Wild Onion or Field Garlic, I think


I am not sure if this is Wild Onion or Field Garlic yet, but its bulbs have a strong onion-like odour, probably Wild Onion? I think I can tell when it flowers. Anyway, it is from the wild (my flat's communal garden).

One of the real pleasures of making Kokedama is to spot a good-looking wild plant when walking in nature, take it home, create and breathe a new life into it with your own creativity, sense of art.

This plant grows everywhere doesn't it? So can be so boring or even can be a bit annoying in the field or park. But Look. It is given a new life in an art form now. I recognize its beauty again and go silent to be impressed with the wonderfulness of nature.

*I am not encouraging you to take wild plants home frequently. If it grows in abundance in the wild, taking one should do no harm and the occasional one may be ok. Just make sure you never ever take rare plants, never ever take from nature reserves. Just use your common sense.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Kokedama-Asparagus


My very favourite Kokedama, Asparagus.

I love its silent presence. Its leaves have a very gentle and subtle atmosphere swaying in the wind. When I see that, a refreshing cool breeze blows in my mind. The gentle breeze blows off the stress from my everyday life and I find peaceful tranquillity within me.

This Asparagus is "Asparagus Plumosus," also commonly called "Asparagus Fern" and "Lace Fern," although it is not fern. It is Liliaceae and related to Asparagus that we eat. The young stems look like a skinny version of the vegetable asparagus. I have bitten the stem and it tasted like a plant with a hint of asparagus. (Eating lots of them may be harmful, so BE CAREFUL.)

Asparagus Plumosus is evergreen and a hardy perennial plant, so it is very suitable for Kokedama Bonsai. Also it will be your eye entertainer throughout a year.

*The leaves that I called leaves actually are not leaves. They are Phyllode, winged leafstalks which function as leaves (by Oxford Dictionary). How interesting and wonderful the world of plants is! Learning about plants never bores me:)

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Kokedama-Devil's Ivy & Spider Plant


Devil’s Ivy & Spider Plant -------What a wicked combination!

Part of the appeal of working with plants is learning their names, isn't it?

When I learned it is called Devil’s Ivy in English, I was a bit shocked because it’s “Devil!” Yes, it is a tough plant and tenaciously survives, but “Devil” sounds too much, I think. Well, it’s only because I like that plant very much, probably.

“Spider Plant.” Joking! Mmm…I must consider that there are a lot of people who find spiders beautiful, but spiders are basically scary, aren’t they? (and bite.)

“Spider Plant” is called “Orizuru-ran” in Japanese. “Orizuru” is a crane folded with paper and “ran” is orchid. The person who named the plant must have seen its offspring as a crane. “Origami Crane Plant,” fancy isn’t it? “Spider Plant” describes the plant with greater accuracy, though. (* Spider Plant is not a plant of orchid family. It is Liliaceae).

“Devil’s Ivy” is commonly called “Potosu” in Japanese, by the way, borrowing English pronunciation “Pothos”.