Build Your Own String Garden in 7 Steps
Kokedama, which means moss ball, is a style of Japanese bonsai that takes presentational aesthetics outside the box—literally. Kokedama are made by transferring your plant out of its pot and into a ball of soil held together with moss and string.
String gardens take this tradition a step further by suspending these little green worlds in the air. They're a great way to bring the outdoors inside of your—dare I say—teeny, tiny apartment, where surfaces are reserved for your collection of Jerzy Kosinski novels and your laptop, but definitely not more plants.
String gardens are simple, fun to make, and really…tie the room together. Last week as part of the Last Weekend festival held in upstate New York, Wilder Quarterly's Taylor Patterson, who runs the floral and garden design studio Fox Fodder Farm, led a workshop on how to create these unique plant sculptures. She's shared these same steps with us, below.
WHAT YOU NEED
1. Plants! Preferably shade-loving ones with small root bases. Ferns, begonias, and even orchids are ideal for string gardens, but most plants should happily thrive provided there's enough sunlight.
2. A 7:3 ratio peat moss and bonsai soil (Akedama). Mix the peat moss and the bonsai soil together, adding water when necessary, until it is a clay-like consistency.
3. Sphagnum moss soaked in water. Sphagnum moss is important because it holds water like a sponge and guarantees that the roots of your little Kokedama will stay moist.
4. Cotton thread.
5. Sheet moss. You are welcome to forage for your own, but I recommend buying bags of pre-picked sheet moss where available. Moss takes ages to grow, so it's best to leave it in its natural habitat, on those rocks by the river.
6. Twine or string (natural and biodegradable).