String gardens are popping up all over Pinterest these days. The concept is pretty simple, really. It's a hanging container with plants in it! But what sets a string garden apart is that the container used for planting isn't an ordinary container and they're usually hung in groups.
Most of the string gardens I've seen are made with Kokedama (moss balls) or grapevine spheres. All sorts of plants are planted in them, even small trees. Trees look especially stunning because they're usually hung low and appear to be suspended in mid-air if the "string" used is nylon fishing line. They can be a bit tricky though, because they're top-heavy, so proper balance and support is important.
I've wanted to make a string planter of my own, and I had a number of grapevine spheres that I've used as decorator items in my home for years. So I took one of those and in less than 30 minutes, I planted it up and hung it. Though mine isn't made using kokedama, the effect is pretty much the same and it really couldn't be easier.
- hollow grapevine sphere
- sheet moss
- potting soil
- 25-lb. strength nylon fishing line
- plant of your choice
First, cut an opening in the grapevine sphere, large enough that you can fit the root ball of the plant inside it.
Next, line the inside with sheet moss, keeping the greener side facing the outside of the sphere, because it will show through a little bit when you're finished.
Put a small amount of potting soil inside the sphere unless your root ball takes up the entire volume of the sphere. You should have some space to be filled around the root ball to allow for a bit of growth.
I used a clump of staghorn ferns (Platycerium sp.) that needed to be repotted because they were outgrowing their plastic nursery pot and they fit nicely inside the grapevine sphere. Once I had the plant potted up, I took lengths of the nylon fishing line and tied them around the top edge of the sphere, making sure they were secure enough to hold the weight of it when suspended.
After soaking the ball and letting it drain, I gathered the "strings" of fishing line at the top and tied a knot at the length I preferred for the sphere to hang from the ceiling - about 30 inches.
After hanging the sphere, I tucked in some sheet moss around the top edges to give it a more finished look.
This staghorn fern has been living in our bathroom for the last three months and it loves the more humid environment there. I put it in the shower periodically and wet it down, and I'll still be able to do the same thing with this container. I'll have to monitor it more closely since it will dry out more quickly in the grapevine sphere than it did in the plastic pot.