Places & Spaces Urban Jungle Bloggers

Urban Jungle Bloggers – Giving a Green Gift

April 30, 2015

It’s this time again. The time for an Urban Jungle Bloggers post!

Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series, devised by Igor and Judith. The idea is to get some green into our homes, especially for us urban folks! Every month they invite bloggers to share ideas for creating an urban jungle through styling challenges, DIYs, green tips and tricks. Every month there is a different theme on the topic. You can follow and get more Urban Jungle Bloggers inspiration on Pinterest and on Facebook.

April’s theme is: ‘giving a green gift’…..

I must say this is definitely one of my favourite topics so far. Hot on gift giving, after all Mapology Guides did publish a map on this subject, I got very excited about what and who to give this green gift to. In the end I realised I could make something for me as well as for someone else.

I’m probably really late to the party but I only read about Japanese Kokedama (Moss Balls) a few months ago. Kokedama is a style of Japanese bonsai made by taking your plant out of its pot and into a ball of soil held together with a unique soil mixture, moss and string. Intrigued, I immediately wanted to learn more. Now, what better opportunity than to try and make some myself for this post and then gift one to a friend.

So, off I set to do my research. I read instructions, blog posts. I watched some videos. One seems to need pleat moss but that’s not sold in the UK due to it not been sustainable. After a while, with time restraints (what’s new) I got bored and fed up!!

Eureka moment set in! I love cooking. Of course, I’m a seasoned cook, confident and experienced. Do I read many instructions? Do I drive myself crazy with different recipes and different takes on a dish? NO! I just get on with it the Colourliving way. Learn the basics and just go ahead and do it! You’ll learn on the way…

Great. Now all I needed was to go to a garden centre and get my bits. Here’s what I bought.

Bonsai Mix
Sphagnum Moss
Water holding pebbles
Fern plant
Muehlenbeckia Maori plant

God knows I have enough strings in my habedashery collection. Some scissors and I was good to go. Now, I’d be lying if I said it isn’t a messy business. It’s SUPER messy but SUPER DUPER fun! In my book that counts as YAY! No, I’m not going to list instructions. Just dabble with it. Be brave, be bold and experiment. That’s the best way to learn anything. I would, however, recommend to watch some video instructions as to understand the basic principle of creating a Kokedama.

Do you want to see? Sure you do!

I started off with a fern plant.

urban jungle bloggers - giving a green gift

Do you like the string? I bought it many years ago from VV Rouleaux. The wrapping of the string comes very natural to me as I often wrap presents this way. For hanging I found some braids in various colours in my cupboard. I really like the copper one I used here.

urban jungle bloggers - giving a green gift

Next up was the Muehlenbeckia Maori plant. For this Kokedama I used some salmon coloured silk thread. To hang it I opted for some florist’s twine.

urban jungle bloggers - giving a green gift

urban jungle bloggers - giving a green gift

Now for the gift! It’s one thing applying colour strings for me but I thought I go more muted for giving one away. As I’ll be seeing the lovely and talented Alison this evening, who records all her upcycled art and cards on her fab blog, I thought she might enjoy receiving one of my moss balls. Psst, don’t tell her. I’m hoping she won’t read this post until after we’ve met.

urban jungle bloggers - giving a green gift

I pulled out a little bead necklace I made many years ago as another little present for her.

urban jungle bloggers - giving a green gift

Et voila. All wrapped up and ready to go to Alison’s home. I do hope she’ll like it!

urban jungle bloggers - giving a green gift

I had tons of fun making these and best of all I think I, once and for all, got rid of the ‘what if I kill a plant’ mantra!

I want to thank Igor and Judith for the continuous inspiration to experiment and stretch myself in all matters urban jungle. Now wish me luck to keep my Kokedamas alive. As I understand, I need to either spray them daily or soak them in water a few times a week. I shall report back.

As ever, looking forward to seeing everyone else’s posts on giving a green gift!



Being Bank Holiday on Monday, this post will stay live until Thursday 7th May.

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  • Reply Giova Brusa April 30, 2015 at 9:12 am

    I love this soooo much!!!!
    I’m really late to the kokedama train as well, I’ve never heard of this before, so thank you for the introduction!!
    I hope you keep them alive;)

    • Reply tina May 7, 2015 at 12:57 am

      I’m obsessed with them. I also hope they will survive:-) I’m trying my hardest.

  • Reply Igor April 30, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Tina, this is amaze-moss-balls!!You’ve gone literally from 1 to 1000 at Urban Jungle Bloggers at a mind blowing speed! Wow, I mean kokedama – I have never tried to make one! Alison will LOVE it and who knows, maybe she’ll join the Urban Jungle Bloggers party too! Thank you!!

    • Reply tina May 7, 2015 at 12:58 am

      Ohhh, love the ‘amaze-moss-balls’… well, steady on. I’m just trying that doesn’t mean I succeed.
      Was real fun making them. I think you would enjoy it.

      Alison loved hers.

  • Reply Yvonne April 30, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Oh Tina, I laughed so hard when I read this! It looks amazing (Kokedama’s are still on my ‘I’ll try that one day’ list) and I love how you just went for it. That’s how I do my cooking (sometimes with ‘unexpected’ results ;)) +1 for effort and entertainment! I’m sure the recipient will love it.

    • Reply tina May 7, 2015 at 12:59 am

      Not sure what got over me but I really threw all caution to the wind. Hope I don’t have to pay for it:-))
      Thank you Yvonne.

  • Reply Lea @ Rosy & Grey April 30, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    How nice! I really love your green gift idea! 🙂

    • Reply tina May 7, 2015 at 12:59 am

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply Jocelyn Hefner April 30, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    TINA!!!! This is amazing! It reminds me of a plant pineapple! You probably already know this, but a pineapple is the symbol for friendship. I admire your way of diving in…get the basics and move on. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us. Jocelyn xx

    • Reply tina May 7, 2015 at 1:01 am

      Ha. Yes, you’re right, it look like a plant pineapple. I keep thinking of a Celeriac:-))

      Actually, I didn’t know a pineapple is a symbol for friendship. Thank you for that:-)
      Thanks lovely Jocelyn xx

  • Reply Judith April 30, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    So cool that you totally went for it Tina! I made my first last week too and I agree it’s VERY messy (the watering too by the way…) but SO much fun! And actually pretty easy right?! Love how you used all these kinds of ribbons and twine! Makes it so much more interesting and colourful. Thank you for sharing it and I’m sure Alyson will LOVE it (and maybe she’ll want to make one too and join UJB hihi). bisous!

    • Reply tina May 7, 2015 at 1:07 am

      Thank you for sending me the instructions but the more I read up on them the more I got overwhelmed so just went for it:-))
      Yes, watering is messy and I’m hoping they won’t die on me!

      The twine and ribbons were the biggest fun. xx

  • Reply Alison Sye May 1, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    It was so lovely to see you yesterday and I absolutely love your gift. It will be treasured. I must admit I was a little bit worried about it last night when I got home, it was a bit droopy. I gave it a good soaking last night and this morning it is really perky. I had never heard of Kokedamas, but I think we might try making some. My youngest Elf helps out in the eco-garden at school (“I might be late home I am watering the plants”), and she says she is going to tell her teacher all about it. I love the bracelet/necklace, but so does HouseElf2! Thanks again, lovely Tina xx

    • Reply tina May 7, 2015 at 1:09 am

      Oh, it was so much fun and I hope we can do it again soon. Glad you like your gift. I know it’s hard to look after but let’s try together.
      The bracelet/necklace was always meant to be for one of your HouseElf’s:-))
      Pleasure lovely xx

  • Reply Catherine @ farmhousehome May 5, 2015 at 1:25 am

    You did a fabulous job, they look fantastic, so cool and groovy. I was at a country market last Saturday and saw a stall selling these. They add a modern edge to hanging plants and lovely of you to gift one to Alison. xx

    • Reply tina May 7, 2015 at 1:09 am

      Thank you Catherine. Different right?
      Id love a whole row of them… xx

  • Reply Anya Jensen May 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Ohh this is fab Tina, lucky Alison 🙂
    Have a fab green day xox

    • Reply tina May 7, 2015 at 1:11 am

      Thank you Anya.
      It was really nice to gift one to Alison. Hope you’re well lovely xx

  • Reply Holly May 7, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Fun!!! Nice project and great UJB theme!!! Love your philosophy of grasping the basics and then jumping in fully to learn the rest as you go. I like doing that too 🙂


    • Reply tina May 8, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      Great theme, right?? I know you like doing that too. Wonder whether it’s a Leo trait?
      Now keeping them alive is another matter:-)) x

  • Reply mel May 19, 2015 at 1:17 am

    Oh she’s a lucky friend! I saw this on IG and just loved it. I’ve been dying to make one of these myself – so cool! So sweet the whole attention and that she needs to read the post. Not only is the plant a gift but so is the mention. I missed this UJB theme, been crazy with the launch, school holidays, giveaways and mum’s visit. M xx

    • Reply tina May 22, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      I hope so but actually they are difficult to care for so maybe I’ve created some stress there:-)

      Ha. We met the evening I posted this and she really hadn’t read the post yet!

      Hope things are calmer again your side xx

  • Reply urban jungle bloggers - show your plant gang - colourliving colourliving May 21, 2015 at 10:08 am

    […] was nice to take my DIY Kokedama’s outside for this little photo […]

  • Reply urban jungle bloggers - show your plant gang colourliving May 21, 2015 at 11:47 am

    […] was nice to take my DIY Kokedama’s outside for this little photo […]

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