Hand size gardens
Historically, Kusamono means herbaceous plants in contrast with woody Bonsai and has played a supporting role by acting as an accompaniment to the main tree Bonsai when displayed in the formal Japanese style. However, people are now beginning to appreciate Kusamono for its own merits. This is largely due to Mrs. Keiko Yamane, who was officially trained in a Japanese Bonsai Nursery as one of the first lady bonsai growers. After completing her apprenticeship she has since specialised in Kusamono and established her own style of planting by using a moss mound. Her method is now widely recognised throughout Japan and more and more people enjoy growing Kusamono on moss mounds these days.
Although a Kusamono can be created to fit into the palm of a hand, they are delightful in reminding us of the seasonal changes within nature. These enchanting and compact works begin to develop their own characteristics as you tend them throughout the seasons. In time it is easy to connect to the sort of feelings you already derive from your own full size gardens.
With a thoughtful choice of plants a Kusamono will change in appearance not only throughout the growing season but every year. It is with sensitive intervention and insight that you can thin out, prune or add plants to maintain its visual balance. The moss mound is also kept and developed without breaking up so that it matures along with the plants. As the design matures some species will disappear while others will establish and flourish. It is noticing these changes that add to the pleasure of growing Kusamono and in maturity gives it one of the most charming and important focal attractions to these exquisite hand size gardens.