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

Kokedama in Summer: Water Bloom Flower Next Year

August 15, 2014

 "Have a good time with plants in hot summer." In Sakuya Kobo, a cafe of firming community in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town, some women enjoyed making Kokedama for summer. Its prettiness and easiness increase the popularity. Yusuke Hashimoto grows wild grasses and trees there and organize the Kokedama lessons at his customer's request.

Choose Favorite Tree

 The first step making Kokedama is to choose a tree. In summer, the trees having refreshing flowers as Yamaajisai (mountain hydrangea) and Yamahoroshi (Solanum japonense) are popular. Ai Hime, a kind of Yamaajisai, blooms the blue flowers now. Hagi (Japanese clover), which is identified as a flower of autumn, also has the beautiful flowers. These flowers can be enjoyed as Kokedama.

The enjoyable work to choose a tree for Kokedama, Sakuya Kobo in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town
The enjoyable work to choose a tree for Kokedama, Sakuya Kobo in Takamatsu's Kokubunji town

 After choosing a tree, pull it out from the pot and remove half of the soils. Make the bottom flat, and then put the moss. Make a ball with soil mixed Keto-tsuchi, Akadama-tsuchi and peat moss, and hold it in hands to excrete excess water. Cover it around soils, put the moss on it, and then wind strings to hold it. Finally, dip it in water to wash away the dirt.

Put the moss carefully.
Put the moss carefully.

Completed work
Completed work

Decide Front

 Same as bonsai, Kokedama has a front called "face". Generally it is the side having some flowers and buds. After completing, decide the front and arrange the shape of the ball to be better.

 Watering is very important. Especially trees having flowers in this season need to be watered carefully. In doing so, you can also enjoy the trees and flowers in next year.

 Ms. Kozue Fujikawa in Sanuki city says, "This is my fourth time to make Kokedama here. All Kokedama trees are fine. I used Yamahoroshi and Ai Hime this time, and also learned how to cut and care after flowering. It was difficult to make a small Kokedama with a big tree. Next time I want to try to make Yoseue.
(By Shigeo Hano)
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