houses, Uncategorized

Hanging Garden

Earlier this year we earmarked hanging gardens as a big trend for 2012. Think in terms of bringing the outdoors in and 'greening' up your living space in unique and interesting ways. Kokedama – literally meaning 'moss ball' – is a great, easy option if you want to create a hanging garden in your home, according to Marissa Pretorius of the Cape Town plant studio, Opus. She adds that, although 'you really can do any plant, I prefer working with indoor or shady plants, like succulents and orchids.' Often called the poor man’s bonsai in Japan, the Kokedama consists of a small ball of soil that is covered with organic material like mosses, grass and flowers that are mixed and arranged to form a desired hanging garden. The growth and development of the plant’s root system are extremely important. The size of the ball and the method of containment therefore determine the rate of growth. Apart from the fact that Kokedama creates a tranquil atmosphere, people are intrigued by its unique appearance. Although unassuming, they make their presence felt by the introduction of calm reflection into any space. One of the more appealing advantages is that there is no plastic or non-organic material involved. Possibilities are endless, ranging from bulb plants like tulips and hyacinths, to ferns, palms, hibiscus and even fruit trees and succulents. Caring Instructions: All plants require food, water and sunlight to survive. Different plants require different amounts of each. Here are some guidelines for your indoor hanging garden: WATERING Weight is a good indicator of when your hanging plant requires water. One method for determining if there is enough water is to hold the ball in your hand and see if it feels 'heavy'. If it does, then the ball has enough water for the roots. If the ball feels 'light' then watering is needed. Fill a bowl with water to cover the top of the ball. Place the ball in the water and let it soak for 2-3 minutes. Remove the ball and gently squeeze it to allow the water to soak into the centre. This should be enough watering for several days. LIGHTING, TEMPERATURE AND VENTILATION Make sure you choose a hanging plant that will thrive on the amount of light you can provide. Most indoor plants prefer a humid atmosphere and indirect light. Proper ventilation is necessary for good plant growth. FERTILISER Regular fertilising helps to maintain healthy growth. Choose a great all-around fertiliser that can be added to watering. Prices are as follows – Hanging succulents: R140-R200, Hanging indoor gardens: R270-R380, Hanging orchids: Price on order. These plants are currently available from the Opus studio and the Vogel showroom (both located at the Woodstock Foundry at 150 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town). Opening hours at opusstudio.co.za: Fridays, 10am-4pm. Saturdays, 10am-2pm. Text: Kim Grové Images: Marissa Pretorius and (final image) Jurie Senekal