Create your own hanging floral display with tips from Garden Gate Rugby

 

Professional freelance florist Sue Ainley shows you how to produce your own kokedama

Photographs by Jamie Gray

 

kokedama garden gate rugby flowers
Sue Ainley

Garden Gate Rugby is a floristry service based in Rugby town. Run by experienced florist Sue Ainley, she is available for commissions and workshops, details of her services are available on her website www.gardengaterugby.co.uk

Kokedama are moss-covered mud balls which hold in place a whole plant a root system. You can hang them in your garden or inside your home if the plant you use is a house plant. You can use many different types of plant, even fruit trees have been known to grow well. Sue recommends baby ferns or grasses.

You will need a cactus & bonsai compost and also a regular compost. Start by mixing one part of the bonsai compost with three parts normal compost.

One part bonsai compost and three parts normal
One part bonsai compost and three parts normal

Mix this together with water to create a ‘mud pie’. Don’t use too much water, stop when the mixture becomes workable.

Add water
Add water

With the mixture not too soggy, work into a hand-sized ball, squeezing out excess water.

Work into a ball.
Work into a ball.

Set your ball to one side, and remove your chosen plant from its pot. Crumble away excess soil to leave the roots exposed.

Crumble away the soil around the roots.
Crumble away the soil around the roots.

Then take your ball and carefully pull the two hemispheres away to open into two parts.

Open up your mud ball.
Open up your mud ball.

Place your plant on top of one of the hemispheres. Lay the root system over the soil. Now carefully add the other hemisphere, trapping the plant between the two.

Lay the root system onto one of the ball halves.
Lay the root system onto one of the ball halves.

With the root system trapped between the two muddy hemispheres, pack the whole thing together with pressure.

Pack the mud halves around the root system.
Pack the mud halves around the root system.

Put your exposed muddy ball to one side and layout some moss. Best to use turfs of moss. These mossy sheets will wrap perfectly around the ball.

Lay out moss.
Lay out moss.

Place your ball onto the centre of your mossy carpet, and bring up the edges around the mud ball. Take your time and make sure none of the mud ball can be seen through gaps in the moss.

Wrap the ball in moss.
Wrap the ball in moss.

Use thin wire twine to wrap around and around the moss. You need to wrap it quite tightly. Go up and down and around.

Use wire twine to wrap around the moss.
Use wire twine to wrap around the moss.

Once your happy the package is secure, push the top of the moss into the base of the plant, don’t leave frayed edges. Now we need to wrap again with garden twine or string. This will be visible so make it aesthetically pleasing. Use one long length. Use Nutscene twine for durability and colour www.nutscene.comhGarden Gate Kokedama-14 hGarden Gate Kokedama-15

Wrap with twine.
Wrap with twine.

Then attach another length to two edges of the ball, this is for hanging.

kokedama
Use another length of twine to hang.

You will need to keep it watered, which is done by dunking the ball into a bucket of water. It may float for a few seconds, but then sink. Take it out once it sinks.

Dunk in a bucket of water to keep moist.
Dunk in a bucket of water to keep moist.

Now choose a spot in the garden to display your kokedama. Depending on the plant, it may be best to choose a shady spot.

Hang in the garden.
Hang in the garden.
Kokedama.
Kokedama.
Sue Ainley observing the fuit of her labour.
Sue Ainley admiring the fruits of her labour.

 

 

 

 

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