A couple of weeks ago, when I was speaking at the Philadelphia Flower show, I picked up some Aegagropila linnaei – also known as Torasampe or Morimo, from City Planter’s show booth. Morimo are an algae that naturally forms into round ball shapes and though they are not related to moss at all, it is easy to understand why they are commonly called ‘Japanese Moss Balls’. Native to fresh water lakes in Japan, Iceland and the Baltics, they are a threatened species and, specifically in Japan, are celebrated for their charm and uniqueness. Admittedly, their novelty is what loosened my purse strings – plus I wanted to see if I could make something interesting with them — this is the result (I’m not sure I succeeded).
These guys live in water, so I gathered together a reasonably interesting container, my collection of sea glass, and some metal sculptures that I had about. My plan was to create an interesting underwater vignette.
Easy assembly here – sea glass in the bottom (or whatever decorative gravel or sand you want to use), next go the morimo (try not to dump water directly on them – it can damage their shape), and then the water.
I fooled around with all sorts of ideas with the little metal lamas — but I don’t know what I was thinking — little llamas don’t belong in water filled glass jars with relatively giant green moss balls (duh). The only thing that sort of made sense was that perhaps the llama uses the ball to escape the container….but that seemed sort of messed up too….
So this is it. Kinda interesting – I guess. These are sitting on my desk – I’ll give them some time to see if I fall in love with them.
But here is what is interesting (links to Marimo stuff):
Marimokkori is used to talk about environmental causes (of course right? given his origin story as a moss ball that is threatened by climate destruction). But what I don’t get is why the girl versions also have prominent bulges. I assume something is being lost in translation. Personally, I think that Marimokkori might turn out to be more exciting than my marimo…but I’ll give it some time.