BONSAI WORLD A series of articles by The Shikoku Shimbun focuses on the attractions of bonsai which encapsulate small universes in containers.

Mossball in Spring: Prettiness Popular among Women

August 10, 2013

 The mossball is as popular as group planting among young women. It is easy to make a pretty one in a short time so many people enjoy the demonstration in some bonsai exhibitions. Yusuke Hashimoto, 2nd generation of Hashimoto Seikoen Bonsai garden in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town, showed us how to make the mossball.

Mossballs of Fan columbine (left) and Ledebouria cooperi
Mossballs of Fan columbine (left) and Ledebouria cooperi

Natural Shape

 Mossball making starts with pulling out the seeds and removing the soils. The soils are removed carefully by the disposable wooden chopsticks not to damage the roots. Then make a ball with soil mixed Keto-tsuchi, Akadama-tsuchi and peat moss. It's preferable that the consistency is like the earlobe. After that, cover it with moss and wind strings to hold it. Finally, dip it in water. It will be a good interior at the entrance and the living room.

He is putting the moss to cover the soil at Sakuya Kobo in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town.
He is putting the moss to cover the soil at Sakuya Kobo in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town.

 The mossball was originally the roots which was pulled out from pots and covered by moss. So it should be natural shape. On the day, he used Deutzia gracilis a year after drafting. The beautiful white flower will also bloom next year with care of water.

Cafe of Firming Community

 Hashimoto opened "cafe of firming community 'Sakuya Kobo'" at the foot of Goshikidai mountain near his bonsai garden. The view from the hill is beautiful. And it is popular for herb tea his mother, Tamae, made and tube cake his wife, Taeko, baked. Some lectures including mossball, cultivation and use of herb, wild-crafting, cooking of edible wild plants, and how to bake tube cake will be held there through the year. He will receive only actual cost as fee.

 "cafe of firming community 'Sakuya Kobo'"
"cafe of firming community 'Sakuya Kobo'"

 The cafe has another unique topic. The visitors can enjoy cutting and wiring to 34 Goyomatsu (Japanese white pine) trees in the garden. For bonsai fanciers, it is the great opportunity to touch the ancient Goyomatsu.
(By Shigeo Hano)
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