Have You Tried Kokedama? A Seminar On This Japanese Gardening Art Wows Customers.

Bowood Kokedama Class Completed Project

Bowood Farms in St. Louis has built a reputation of knowing every arcane thing there is to know about gardening and sharing those secrets with its customers. A good example are two recently held classes on a Japanese gardening technique called Kokedama.

“Reservations pre-paid — an $18 fee,” says general manager Ellen Barredo. Each hour-and-20-minute session was limited to 10 people. “The classes were sold out in just a few days upon an eMail announcement. This could be alot of fun for other garden centers for a fall/winter activity,” Barredo says.
 
Barredo also writes for a local gardening magazine, The Gateway Gardener Magazine. She wrote an article about the gardening technique for the magazine’s October issue, which will help build Bowood’s reputation as the garden center with the latest trends.

What Is Kokedama?

“Kokedama is the Japanese art form of enclosing a plant’s root mass in moss. Kokedama means ‘moss ball,'” Barredo wrote for the magazine. “A current spin off of the Kokedama trend is String Gardening. The moss balls are suspended with string.”

In the article, Barredo explains that Kokedama originated through a combination of both Nearai and Kusamono bonsai styles. In the Nearai style, plants grow tightly root bound in the pot, and then are taken out of the pot to stand and enjoy. The root and soil maintain its shape when taken out of the pot.

The Kusamono-style bonsai features potted arrangements of wild grasses and flowers in unique pots or trays, Barredo says. Kusamono was originally used to show the seasons and were often presented with a moss gathering at the top of the soil. 

Materials You Will Need

In her article, Barredo tells consumers which items will be needed, including structural and practical itmes like fishing line and scissors. She says the most difficult item to find is the right bagged soil.

“We used Perfect Play, which is a heavier soil,” she says. “Many bagged soils may work for Kokedama. The soil must be a heavier soil which may contain peat moss, peat, clay, a small amount of sand or perlite. Bagged Garden Soil comes to mind … perhaps mixed with an Indoor Potting Soil. A ratio we have seen is online is peat soil 70 percent and clay/garden soil 30 percent. Play around with different mixtures to come up with the best recipe that won’t fall apart.”

For a detailed description of how to lead a Kokedama class, you can contact Barredo at Bowood Farms.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Have You Tried Kokedama? A Seminar On This Japanese Gardening Art Wows Customers.

  1. Ellen, The publicity guru at work just sent me an email with attached article. I'm always looking for "different" classes and activities to present at Patuxent Nursery/Home and Garden in Bowie, MD where I work part time taking care of the tropicals/houseplants. Love to get my hands in the mud, so I am facinated with the idea of a hanging mud ball! I am interested in your description of how to lead a Kokedama class. Sandra

  2. I am also interested in how to lead a kokedama class. Looks like something that would be fun to present yet this fall or winter. Thanks,Sherry

More From Events...

June 29, 2015

All-America Selections Releases 2015 Annual Report

The annuals, perennials and edibles that are All-America Selections winners can help every segment of the distribution chain sell more product because of a back story that explains what it takes to become an AAS winner.

Read More
Lloyd Traven

June 29, 2015

Peace Tree Farm’s Lloyd Traven Will Be A Keynote Speaker At IGC East

Speaking on Wednesday, Aug. 5, Traven will offer a wake-up call for the industry on how to capture and engage young consumers.

Read More
Botanica Collection (Landmark Plastic)

June 29, 2015

New Products Debuting In Summer 2015 [Slideshow]

These new products will be making their debut at this summer’s retail shows. Be sure to stop by and visit their manufacturers while you’re walking the trade show floor.

Read More
Latest Stories

June 29, 2015

All-America Selections Releases 2015 Annual Report

The annuals, perennials and edibles that are All-America Selections winners can help every segment of the distribution chain sell more product because of a back story that explains what it takes to become an AAS winner.

Read More
Lloyd Traven

June 29, 2015

Peace Tree Farm’s Lloyd Traven Will Be A Keynote Speake…

Speaking on Wednesday, Aug. 5, Traven will offer a wake-up call for the industry on how to capture and engage young consumers.

Read More
Botanica Collection (Landmark Plastic)

June 29, 2015

New Products Debuting In Summer 2015 [Slideshow]

These new products will be making their debut at this summer’s retail shows. Be sure to stop by and visit their manufacturers while you’re walking the trade show floor.

Read More

June 26, 2015

Share Your Memories Of Pink Flamingos To Honor The Pass…

Tonight I will lift a glass to Donald Featherstone, who created the iconic plastic pink flamingo that became a symbol of kitsch or bad taste, depending on your sense of style. He died this week at age 79 (Click here to read his obituary from NPR). I’ve long had an affection for the tacky lawn art. I lived in Austin, Texas, throughout most of the 1980s and and early 90s. While living there, I often drove by a house that was far away from the epicenter of Keep Austin Weird, in a quiet established community known for interesting architecture, good schools and its well-heeled residents. This house stood out because it had a plastic pink flamingo, out of place in this pocket of good taste. Over a few months, the homeowner added more pink flamingos until it was a sizable flock. Did I mention his house was on a major thoroughfare? […]

Read More
Feature image

June 25, 2015

Ernest Wertheim Rescues His Father From An Early Concen…

After Wertheim's father was arrested when re-entered Germany after a lengthy absence in 1937, his family heard there may be a way to free him. Here is an excerpt from Wertheim's book, Chasing Spring, recounting what happened next.

Read More

June 25, 2015

Human Resources Classes At 2015 Summer Shows

Make plans to attend some of these educational presentations, seminars and panel discussions covering human resources that will be taking place at this year’s conferences

Read More
Chasing Spring and Its Not Just about the Hat

June 22, 2015

New Memoirs From Ernest Wertheim And Allan Armitage Off…

New books from garden center design expert Ernest Wertheim and plant expert Allan Armitage offer a glimpse into the two mens’ careers. More importantly, however, they also go into detail on each man’s life experiences that helped make them what they are today.

Read More
Hawthorne Gardening feature image

June 22, 2015

Scotts-MiracleGro’s Subsidiary Buys Hydroponic Co…

Scotts-MiracleGro’s Hawthorne Gardening Co. recently announced it has purchased General Hydroponic and Bio-Organic Solutions. The company is based in Santa Rosa, Calif., and is “popular with marijuana growers,” according to Columbus Business First. Hawthorne Gardening Co. was created in October 2014 and is led by Chris Hagedorn, the son of Scotts-MiracleGro CEO Jim Hagedorn. At the time, Scotts-MiracleGro said the division was created to serve a younger and more urban customer. Purchasing General Hydroponic will position Hawthorne to respond to the U.S. changing attitudes and laws to legal medical and recreational marijuana. Tom Knox’s article about the purchase in Columbus Business First says General Hydroponics supplies liquid fertilizers and has plants in California, West Virginia and France. You can read Scott’s press release on the purchase here.

Read More

June 21, 2015

Ian Baldwin’s Blog Spurs A Debate On What Matters…

Industry consultant Ian Baldwin wrote recently about the need to emphasize nature more in garden retail. He pointed out that most garden retailers would prefer to go backpacking or kayaking before going to a movie, yet that passion for nature rarely translates in their customers’ shopping experience. His comments stirred a vigorous debate about organic vs. local and how butterflies and wildlife marketing are working at the ground level. Read the debate below. If you would like to read the original block, click here. Ian, this an interesting dilemma. We have classes on creating a Backyard Wildlife and they are generally well attended, but I think the vast majority of gardeners consider these kinds of backyards to be too messy and unruly. Obviously this is a misconception and one that our industry could do a better job of clarifying. Keep up the good work, my friend. Steve Smith, Sunnyside Nursery The […]

Read More
Fire Ants

June 19, 2015

Imported Red Fire Ants Discovered At Delaware Garden Ce…

State agriculture officials made the discovery during an inspection of tropical plants imported from Florida. The state has issued an alert to local businesses reminding them to check any shipments they may be receiving.

Read More
Moana stacked pallets display

June 19, 2015

Display And Merchandising Classes At 2015 Summer Shows

Make plans to attend some of these educational presentations, seminars and panel discussions covering displays and merchandising that will be taking place at this year’s conferences.

Read More
Webinar Laptop Graphic

June 17, 2015

Webinar: Proven Ways To Protect Your Data From Hackers …

On June 4, Today’s Garden Center broadcast a webinar addressing ways garden retailers can increase their online security. Listen to the recording of the webinar, where our panel of experts discussed the steps you can take to ensure your business, your data, and your customers are safe.

Read More

June 16, 2015

Digital/Social Media Classes At 2015 Summer Shows

Make plans to attend some of these educational presentations, seminars and panel discussions covering digital and social media trends that will be taking place at this year’s conferences.

Read More
Cultivate Trade Show

June 12, 2015

What To Do, And What’s New, At Cultivate’15

According to Aubrey Ballinger, learning resource specialist at AmericanHort, Cultivate’15 is the industry’s post-season pep-rally. “Because Cultivate’15 is unique in its attendees — representing every facet of the industry — and the sheer size of the event, we like to keep it on the cutting-edge of what it means to have an all-industry, educational, networking and business experience,” Ballinger says. Here’s what you can expect this year. What To Do At Cultivate New Varieties Zone: Get a first-hand look at more than 750 new plant introductions. See new colors, better habits, drought resistance and other aspects important to growers, retailers, landscapers and — most importantly — consumers. New Products Zone: This is your chance to preview the new innovative items ready to hit the market. Whether hard goods, technology, equipment or future retail best sellers, Cultivate’15 lets you be the first to see what’s coming so you can get a jump on the competition. […]

Read More
Monarch Butterfly

June 12, 2015

Ian Baldwin: Selling The Outdoors Should Be In Our Natu…

In his latest blog posting, industry consultant Ian Baldwin says the garden industry has not shown the leadership and influence around nature that we can and should.

Read More
Cornell Farm Bathroom

June 12, 2015

GCA Accepting Nominations For Its 2015 Best Garden Cent…

The entry deadline for the program, which recognizes retailers whose restrooms contribute to the store’s favorable shopping experience, is June 26.

Read More

June 11, 2015

Business Management Classes At 2015 Summer Shows

Make plans to attend some of these educational presentations, seminars and panel discussions covering business management taking place at this year’s conferences.

Read More
Syngenta decision tree for peppers 2

June 9, 2015

Ideas From California Spring Trials Retails Can Steal […

California Spring Trials gave breeders a chance to tap into their creative side when it comes to displaying new plant varieties. Here are a few ideas you may be able to try in your stores.

Read More