Kusamono and Me

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Kusamono and Me

Post  deanoaz on Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:35 am

Well, not sure how to start this, but will outline some background:
1. I started bonsai while in Oregon 15-20 years ago (good place to start)
2. Restarted last year here in Phoenix, with the Phoenix Bonsai Society
3. I am now the PBS librarian, so have access to lots of books
4. I have a stronger interest in Kusamono, but have numerous bonsai plants (my age says I will see greater progress there vs. bonsai plants); yeah, I guess I am into my feminine side
5. Being in Phoenix, we have limited plant availability
I am interested in getting ideas and sources for plants/containers for kusamono, especially things like moss. One club member has a son who boxes up moss and sends her some from the Northwest (oh, how I now miss those years in Oregon). I am retired and on a limited budget, so that is a consideration. I have tried to develop a micro-climate on my back patio, but dry heat is still a consideration, although the setup is working better.

I am looking for any and all ideas for expanding on my kusamono knowledge. I have started by plantings around rock arrangements, but see lots of containers as I search through this forum thread, so that is one area, besides plants, where I need sources/ideas. I would appreciate any and all feedback. Very Happy


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moss

Post  tap pi lu on Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:46 am

If he wants to learn about Moss go to: google-MOSS (image). which show a lot of pictures and documents on the MOSS. If the place you in the climate action dry then I think you can do it this way: take advantage of the shell small yogurt box + the old foam pads, you put the soil in potted plants, moi shell box yogurt into porous pieces in box, for then fill up on land put pieces of MOSS and watered, water will seep into the styrofoam pieces to fill the reserve always moisturizing for MOSS.

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Re: Kusamono and Me

Post  dick benbow on Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:40 pm

I always get a chuckle out of my friends in california, trying to keep moss growing on bonsai. Like oregon ( or maybe moreso here in washington) we try and get rid of it as it takes over.

Have you seen willie benz's book on kusamona? I think for on line info, Ritta Cooper from the U.K. is the best.
She's giving demnstrations and seminars on them at the British Shohin Society with their show this weekend.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

last year I went into the forest and gathered all kinds of native plants to work with, They getting active now this late winter/early spring. I should have something nice to post here shortly.

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Thanks Tap Pi Lu

Post  deanoaz on Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:14 pm

I hadn't heard that idea for growing moss. Thanks, I will try it after I get some starters.
cheers Very Happy


Last edited by deanoaz on Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:15 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)

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Thanks Benbow

Post  deanoaz on Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:40 pm

I have the idea of buying the Benz book through Amazon (Bonsai Kusamano Suiseki, $24.95), after reading about it while wading through all the posts on the forum. I also ran into The Four Seasons of Bonsai by Murata, which was also recommended on this forum for kusamono. Since I am the librarian at PBS, I looked at our listing and we have that one on the shelves, so I will pick it up at our next meeting.

I wander the plant nurseries around here looking for plant selections, but what I find is nothing compared to what you in the Northwest and other locations can just go out in the woods and pick up. If any of you out there order plants through the Internet/mail and have favorite suppliers, I would greatly appreciate hearing about those sources. Also sources for attractive pots would also be greatly appreciated.

One thing that keeps at the forefront of our discussions here is the kusamono planting medium (or muck as it is termed here and possibly everywhere). Any of you have formulas you might be willing to share? Question

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Re: Kusamono and Me

Post  dick benbow on Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:47 pm

I bought a big bag of finely ground pine bark and i mix it with finely sifted pummace I then wrap a strip of gauze
around it to hold it's shape on the bottom and sides. I plant the top and then wrap the entire ball with moss which is held in place by lil horshoe like wires that i push thru the the moss and gauze to hold inplace.

If your library doesn't have murata's book, I got mine used from amazon.

We're fortunate to have some pretty good club members who are potters so most of all mine come from local artisans.

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Re: Kusamono and Me

Post  Leo Schordje on Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:56 pm

I think I detect a note of climate zone envy. I suffer from that myself, and am always trying to grow things that are wrong for my climate. I grow way too many tropicals in my zone 5 home. I have found I have much better success with a lot less effort with local native material.

You are in Phoenix, a unique desert climate. It is silly trying to grow temperate moist forest species in a desert. Why not head out into your local wild areas and look for your small native plants to use as kusamono. If you find any moss in the wild near you, it will be a moss that is more tolerant of your arid conditions. Try keeping lichen going, find some locally growing lichen, you don't have to go far. I have seen lichen in the Superstition Mountains when I visited the area a few years ago. Take a good look at the desert ephemerals, one genus to look for would be your local species of Draba. Get out and drive around shortly after the spring rains in February and March and see what is blooming in the desert. I don't know your local species well but I believe you will see a few that are lovely small compact plants with lovely flowers. Try growing a few of these. Check out the nurseries that specialize in xeriscaping with native species and ask about low plants for the garden border, some of these will be nice and compact. I have a nice little Cylindropuntia leptocaulis the Desert Christmas Cactus, native to your area. When it is in fruit, it is lovely, and would have nice potential as a tall, thin kusamono, and you wouldn't have to worry about watering it several times a day. Some of your local grasses would be good too. The cycle of green in winter and brown in summer can really be worked with. Just my 2 cents. I myself am guilty of trying to grow cloud forest tropicals in my arid in winter home myself, so this is mostly a pep talk for myself.

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Kusamono

Post  kora on Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:12 am

Here are a couple of pointers;
Moss-1. shade 2. humidity-I live in CA East bay where the humidity goes down to 10% in the summer-sort of like Arizona. Best way to keep moss is to have shade, water frequently and I found that fertilizing with osmokote promotes moss growth, in fact I discussed this with one of the premier bonsai growers-Maruyama in Sacramento-who uses osmokote and complains that the biggest problem is profuse moss growth. Having said that-it is imperative to grow whatever under shade cloth with frequent misting and watering.
Why not grow desert type plants for kusamono-I venture to guess, that your bonsai are also the type of plants that grow in desert type climate and conditions.
I suggest you concentrate on Arizona-Phoenix climate type of plant-it avoids a lot of frustration-find out what grows naturally in your neighborhood.
Before you buy any plant in great numbers, go on line and find out as much as possible about the growing conditions and requirements of the plant you want to buy.
I give workshops on companion plants and have experimented with lots of plants in the past-if they don't do well for a year at home-I don't use them for my workshops.
soil: A lot of people fail with growing companion plants because they don't pay enough attention to the soil: Any plant I buy from a nursery, I bare root and plant into my own mix which is roughly: 2 parts acadama, 1 part hyuga, 1 part lava. this means, that many plants need a bit of time to recover from my regime. It is imperative, to realize, that you should not plan to transplant a kusamono-companion plant just a few weeks before a show-you need several weeks if not months for the plants to adjust to the new situation.

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Re: Kusamono and Me

Post  my nellie on Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:55 am

tap pi lu wrote: ... ...take advantage of the shell small yogurt box + the old foam pads, you put the soil in potted plants, moi shell box yogurt into porous pieces in box, for then fill up on land put pieces of MOSS and watered, water will seep into the styrofoam pieces to fill the reserve always moisturizing for MOSS.
It sounds interesting! Thank you for posting your method.
Nevertheless, I need some further clarification (the language barrier you see...). Could anyone describe the method more clearly, please? Is the yoghurt cup used alone or is it used in combination with a styrofoam pad? I cannot quite understand this... Embarassed

Thank you!

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Re: Kusamono and Me

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:34 pm

Good advice to look for desert plants. Growing moss in the desert is like spitting into the wind. Try succulents.

Locted between Tempe and Phoenix is the Desert Botanical Garden. It has hundreds of labelled plants -- most of them cacti or succulents -- growing naturally.

Drive down to Tucson and visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, which claims to have all native species of plants and animals from the Sonoran Desert.

Look at:
http://www.drought-smart-plants.com/succulent-plant-identification.html

I do not live in an arid climate -- I used to live in Nogales and attended Arizona State in the mid 50s -- but I still like hens and chickens:





_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Kusamono and Me

Post  stonener on Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:36 pm

After reading your post, I relate completely!
I have been thinking of your situation for a while,
wondering if you have moved forward?.
I agree with advise give, all of it!
I understand your dilemma exactly, as I once was there too.
even tho I live in southern california, weather here can be the same.
I too love moss, ferns and other shade and moisture loving plants.
But was forced to learn other ways to get the same results.
there is a whole other world out there of desert heat loving plants,
that can and do cross over to give you the look your looking for,
maybe in some cases even better, especially when they bloom!
of course I understand the challenge of growing something you can't...
placed on east side of our home in afternoon shade, because of stone pot?
stonener



blooms are a bonus, more sun increases red foliage color, just set stone in wet deep sand


Last edited by stonener on Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:18 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : -u)

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Re: Kusamono and Me

Post  dick benbow on Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:44 pm

I consider myself very fortunate to be here in washington state, and on the west side of the Mountains.
Ferns, moss, they all grow like cracy here.

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Re: Kusamono and Me

Post  stonener on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:49 pm

Ya Ya Ya! stop rubbing it in, your lucky!... Dance
So if and when you move to the desert!
you too will sing a different tune... geek


Last edited by stonener on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : -)

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Re: Kusamono and Me

Post  dick benbow on Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:02 pm

LOL, I am lucky. I had a race car friend of mine send me pictures of the area surrounding joshua tree. Has a great beauty in it's starkness. So in some ways your lucky too!Smile

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Re: Kusamono and Me

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