Jeffery Vardon’s kusamono, kokedama and terrariums can make any room greener

The Chennai-based dancer was introduced into these last year, during the lockdown

“If you like Nature and art, you will love kusamono. It brings the greenery of a garden into your home,” promises Jeffery Vardon, dancer and choreographer from Chennai. He came to know of this ancient Japanese method last year during the lockdown. “The word kusamono translates to ‘grass-thing.’ It is a potted collection of plants in a shallow dish. It is usually kept indoors and is a showpiece. Having a good kusamono in one’s home is considered to be a thing of pride in Japan,” he says.

Jeffery learnt about kusamono online. “I saw a photograph and tried to recreate it, and it came out well. Traditionally, kusamono is set in a ceramic bowl. But I have even upcycled old pans in my house for it. I make soil with high water retention capacity to grow the plants, using coco peat, vermicompost, etc. It is very easy to maintain. All you have to do is spray it with water when the top soil dries up,” he explains.

Kusamono  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Along with kusamono, Jeffery has also been experimenting with kokedama and terrariums. Kokedama is another ancient Japanese practice — it involves planting an ornamental plant in a mud ball. The ball can be covered by moss or rope. “It is gaining popularity in our country now,” he says.

Jeffery has been taking online workshops to teach this craft. “Most of them were done in association with The Green Club, an online group of Nature lovers. I have also started a YouTube channel, DIY With Jeff, where I share the basics of gardening,” he says, adding “I hope it helps people engage themselves and express their creativity during this lockdown.”

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