Our first kokedama workshop took place on a chilly winter day, the kind of day you might like to curl up and quietly become a true NW mossback. It was the perfect occasion for creating living sculptures to grace our indoor spaces. The beautiful local tree moss we used to encase our verdant spheres included a few errant sword ferns, which several participants enjoyed adding to great effect. These mossy orbs looked like microcosmic globes of the great Pacific Northwest. They reminded me of some of my favorite places.
As the days grow longer, thoughts turn to spring, and we begin to emerge from our Seattle cocoons. Many of us get restless and long to be outdoors and on the move - time for a field trip. You don't have to go far to find moss in it's natural habitat here, but these are some truly magnificent places to visit:
Bloedel Reserve Moss Garden
Hoh Rainforest Hall of Mosses
Also visit the Elizabeth Miller Library for gardening inspiration and a few of my favorite books:
The magical world of moss gardening/Annie Marten
Keshiki bonsai: the easy, modern way to create miniature landscapes/Kenji Kobayashi
The unexpected houseplant: 220 extraordinary choices for every spot in your home/Tovah Martin
Until you can be a rolling stone, here is my recipe for kokedama soil, intended for use with plants that, like moss, thrive with moisture and indirect light:
4 parts organic potting soil with ferilizer
4 parts peat or coco coir
3 parts akadama
1 part clay
Mix dry ingredients. Add warm water until mix starts to hold together, let water absorb for 15-30 minutes, add water if needed. Mix in small pieces of clay with your hands until you can form a ball that can be gently tossed without breaking. Yield: 4-6 balls.
If you don't have time to make your own kokedama, you can find these mossy marvels along with other inspired gardening tools and vessels at the beautiful Niche Outside in Capitol Hill's Chophouse Row.
semper quaerens (always curious) & semper incrementum (always growing) fellow field trippers!
- Betina Simmons-Blaine of Marzipan Seattle