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April 2015

    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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    A Stroll in Regents Park

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    April 16, 2015