Create a Verdant Indoor Eden with Miniature Moss Gardens: Book Review

February 26th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

Miniature Moss Gardens: Create Your Own Japanese Container Gardens

These last few weeks of winter can be the longest and gloomiest of the season. Just when the witch hazel begins to bloom, five inches of snow will fall and smother her glorious, golden petals. Late February and early March is my favorite time of the year to fantasize about a warm-weather escape. But when jetting off to a tropical island isn’t in the realm of possibility (raising my hand here), a weekend staycation filled with indoor gardening projects is often just the ticket.

Miniature Moss Gardens, by Megumi Oshima and Hideshi Kimura, has inspired me to ignore the sleet and snow, and focus on the fresh scent of potting soil, sheet moss and ivy. Looking to bring new life to your winter-weary interior? Perhaps share the hope of spring at your office? There’s nothing like a pop of green to remind us that soon our season will change. This beautiful how-to book is filled with indoor garden projects ranging from the simple (tea cup houseplants and tiny moss balls), to the complex (bonsai, tray landscapes or terrariums!).

Hanging Kokedama with Ivy

Bring Life to a Tabletop with Kokedama Beauty

Thrifty Container Garden Idea: Recycle an Old Teacup

I review many beautiful, inspiring garden books —but to be honest, few of them offer the detailed, step-by-step instructions required for true horticultural success. Miniature Moss Gardens is far and away one of the best how-to gardening books that I’ve seen in a long time. Authors Megumi Oshima, a plant consultant and interior designer with her own gardening shop, and Hideshi Kimura, a bonsai master and instructor with more than 20 years experience in his art, take the time to explain how moss grows, what it needs to thrive, and why it makes a great house plant. Not only are detailed supply lists and project instructions included in this book, but tips for maintaining your living creations are also provided for long-term success. Horticultural geeks like myself will be delighted by the inclusion of a moss identification and location guide as well as propagation tips —perfect for gardeners of all ages.

For garden-enthusiasts, there’s nothing like getting your hands covered in warm mud to banish those winter blues. Create a hanging kokedama for a gloomy window or tray garden for a lifeless countertop — it’s the perfect way to bring a little springtime energy into a room and share a bit of natural beauty with a friend. I can’t wait to play in the potting soil with my copy of Miniature Moss Gardens.From Bonsai and Kokedama to Dish Gardens and Terrariums, Miniature Moss Gardens will Show You How to Create Your Very Own, Japanese-Style Containers for an Enchanting, Indoor Eden 

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A copy of this book was provided by Tuttle Publishing in exchange for independent, un-biased review. No other compensation was received. The Gardener’s Eden is not an affiliate of Tuttle Publishing, but is an affiliate of Amazon.com.

Article copyright Michaela at The Gardener’s Eden, all rights reserved. All content on this site, (with noted exceptions), is the property of The Gardener’s Eden and may not be used, reproduced or reposted elsewhere without written consent.

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Late Autumn Texture Studies, Part One: Plants Sparkling with Sugary Frost…

October 26th, 2009 § 4 comments § permalink

Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’ – Sweet Treat of the Sugar Plum Fairy…

Jack Frost and the Sugar Plum Fairy had a party in my garden the other night.     I wasn’t invited. But my naughty guests did leave behind plenty of outrageous evidence and a few party favors. In the morning I awoke to find powdered-sugar puffs, candied flower petals, jimmie-sprinkled leaves, fruity rock candy and other champagne-sprayed remnants from their chilly midnight ball. It seems that I missed quite the soiree. Everywhere, just everywhere – glittery bits of lace and satin laid strewn about the walkways and flower beds. As I wandered through the empty garden rooms, scantily-clad branches shamelessly greeted sunrise – all flaunting sheer, sparkling robes. Why, even the walls and cars were dotted by crystal-confetti and draped with jewel-encrusted sashes.

Shocked? You shouldn’t be. This happens every year – sometimes without warning. I’m sure Mr. Frost and and his cool band of gypsies have traipsed through your neighborhood at one time or another. Jack and his lady-friend Sugar really get around, especially at this time of year. While it’s true that I once despised these uninvited hedonists, (blind, all I could see was the mess and the waste), I slowly came to my senses. Who am I to spoil the fun? So I casually began to set the stage for their late-night romp and revelry, waiting for a response. I filled my garden with soft pillows of downy foliage and feathery decorations, paying close attention to texture and detail. Jack is fond of lace and velvet, and Sugar seems to have a thing for candy colored decor. I noticed by the first autumn that they were paying attention to my newfound efforts. My late-night guests left me a beautiful thank you note in a sparkling envelope of glitter.

Jack Frost and the Sugar Plum Fairy have really grown on me. These days I find myself anticipating their arrival. Although I have never seen their chilly white fingers and toes as they dance about caressing my garden, evidence of their gratitude grows each year. Living vicariously through abandoned voile and tulle, I edge my pathways with velveteen lambs ears and lady’s mantle, taking care to carpet the garden floor with wooly thyme and delicate moss. Screens of ornamental grass seem particularly popular during these freezing midnight balls, as do the dried-flower arrangements I always leave standing as a welcome. I have noticed that Sugar is especially fond of plum colored sedum, purply coral bells and richly colored berries. Of course Jack Frost charms all the ladies in my garden, both the smooth and the more rough-around the edges. But he seems to spend most of his time with the the fashionistas – The Bells of Ireland, Liatris, Black-eyed Susan, and of course Queen Anne and her lace.

Yes it’s true – I am still just the party planner. No one has requested my RSVP. Jack and Sugar seem more than content with our anonymous arrangements. But how can I complain? For now I drift to sleep on frigid autumn nights, snug with sweet dreams of their wild comings and goings –  fantasizing about what I will find with the sunrise…

Below you may find some inspiration for your own late-night party decor – and there’s plenty more to come…

Alchemilla mollis, (Lady’s mantle), is always a hit with Jack and Sugar

Heuchera micrantha var. diversifolia ‘Palace Purple’  looks a bit like a sugar plum herself

Rudbeckia hirta obviously did some dancing at the late night hoar frost this October

Alchemilla mollis – Lady’s mantle leaf-edge, here enhanced with cold crystals

Heuchera ‘Green Spice’, kissed by the Sugar Plum Fairy

Ajuga reptans ‘Brocade’ with a smattering of sugar jimmies

Acer griseum – Paperbark maple leaf with delicate ice crystals

Juniperus procumbens ‘Nana’, (Japanese dwarf garden juniper), lured Jack in with her texture

A warm honey Beech leaf glistens in early light on the morning after the first hard freeze

In the soft morning light, Lupine seedlings shine like misplaced rhinestone pins

Rudbeckia hirta after a late-night rendezvous with Mr. Frost

Allegheny spurge leaves, (Pachysandra procumbens), glisten like salted caramels after the party

Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’  – Sage with an icy crust

Thymus pseudolanuginosus –  a carpet of wooly thyme, sugared with sweetness

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Article & Photographs ⓒ 2010 Michaela at TGE

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