String gardens are an easy and beautiful way to bring plants into your home, no matter how small – or urban – your space
By Branka Prica
Growing miniature ecosystems, known as string gardens, is the latest trend in home decoration. It’s similar to the art of Japanese Kokedama in the sense that it takes presentational aesthetics outside of the box by allowing the plants grow in a ball of soil held together by moss and string.
But string gardens take this Japanese tradition a step further by suspending these little green worlds in the air. The result? Ethereal, unique garden rooms.
They may look pretty fancy and difficult to create, but you’d be surprised! Creating and caring for string gardens for the home is easier than you think. And of course, they make for eye catching interiors, especially when various lengths of string are used to create gardens at different levels. All you need is some plants, some string, and you’re ready to go!
Watering for these plants is easy, too. You spray, rather than soak, the plants, which means you won’t have your plants dripping all over the floor.
Meet The Founder of Modern String Gardens
These floating gardens in the photos are the brainchild of Dutch artist and gardener Fedor Van der Valk. He discovered these self-supporting, hanging plant structures almost by mistake. Initially, he was endeavouring to make animated videos with crocheted landscapes, and so he created a kind of 3-dimensional spider web, covered in moss and grass.
When he decided to add bonsai-esque plants to his project, he wanted to keep the landscapes open and airy. And so, the hanging plants concept was born. “I realised it is very simple and beautiful having plants suspended from the ceiling. Just a few threads and no pots or containers makes a delicate effect. And so began my String Gardens project”, says Van der Valk.
String gardens are simple and fun to make. They’re ideal plants for urban spaces, and any plant can be used. That being said, ones with smaller root bases are most ideal. I’d recommend begonias, orchids, grasses or even small trees such as Bonsai bushes. The roots should be covered in a ball of soil held together with an exterior layer of moss, and wound tightly with string.
Van der Valk advises watering the plants in your string gardens with a mist spray bottle, or soaking it for 10-15 minutes in water once a week. Let the garden drain in a sink until the water stops dripping before hanging it back. Et voila!
You’re ready to hang your masterpiece. These decorative balls not only add colour and life to any decorative scheme, but are actually really fun to make and take care of, too.