A different green house

Alisha Shinde
Monday, 13 May 2019

Here’s how you can bring some greenery in your living room or bedroom 

Like they say, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Something that is imperfect for you can be perfect for someone else. The Japanese have followed this thought for ages now. 

“The Japanese in general are people who love connecting with nature as and when they can,” says Uttara Pote, a landscape designer, Green Concepts, who recently held a kokedama workshop at Nukkad Cafe, Viman Nagar. 

She says that the Japanese love bringing the outdoor space indoors — bonsais, gardens and even water fountains. “Nature is very intrinsic to the Japanese culture. So they have developed things in such a manner that nature can be found inside their homes, even as decorative pieces,” adds Pote. 

One such technique that the Japanese use in their homes is the art of kokedama, says Pote and explains that kokedama, which is a ball of soil covered with moss on which any plant grows, has become very popular in Indian households too. 

She adds that a kokedama is made with wet soil, and peat ball in which a plant is set. The ball is wrapped with moss and tied up using jute ropes. “These soil balls look gorgeous when suspended in the air, but in the recent times, kokedamas are also being used as centretable pieces,” she informs. 

The reason why every household should have plants in some form or the other, be it bonsais or kokedamas, is because living in cities, one is slowly losing the connect with nature. “There is concrete in every direction now, and it’s so suffocating to look at. In such a situation, where the green cover is gradually disappearing from cities, one can easily dedicate a corner for a small garden in their home,” Pote says and adds that gardening even though a science, is not a rocket science. “It is so easy to take care of plants that everyone can do it. But today, everyone is working and they find very less time to tend to plants. For such people, I believe a kokedama is the best option.” 

She explains that it is a low maintenance garden once it is installed — all one needs to do is add water to it regularly. “You need not change the soil or even add fertilisers. You just need to let the plant grow, with occasional cutting,” she informs. 
Talking about the plants that one can use in kokedama, Pote says that the best plants for kokedama are the ones that require less sunlight and can survive in shade. 

“Once you select a plant to bring home, make sure you give it time before setting it into a kokedama because many plants have a tendency of facing trauma when they are moved to new places,” points out Pote suggesting that caring for a plant is a crucial stage in setting up a garden. 

How to make a kokedama at home

Supplies required 
- Soil
- Cocopeat
- Moss
- Activated charcoal
- Jute twines
- Water
- Scissors
- Plant

Method
- Soak a handfull of moss in water and set aside for later.
- Mix cocopeat, soil and a spoonful of activated charcoal together. Slowly add in water and mix until a consistency develops, forming a soil ball that stays together, about the size of a large orange.
- Take the fern plants and clean the soil from the roots. 
- Break the soil ball in half and set the roots into the ball of soil. 
- Use the damp moss to wrap the soil and bind it with twine.
- When the kokedama is done, spritz it with water.

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