Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Marimo: What's so great about it vs moss terrarium

I came home one day from work to find my housemate tending to something in the kitchen.It was a heart shaped bottle! Cool what is it? I thought it was a moss terrarium something I've always thought was cool since i saw it on many craft blogs. 'Marimo!' he said.

This was how it looked like.


And that was my introduction to this algae ball called Marimo.

It costs around RM40 in Pavilion KL, but it can be as low as RM7 on the lowyat forum. What is this green round ball of algae then that can cost so much, and in other avenues so little? It's a algae ball that can either be original or pirated?

I look up Wikipedia in confusion.

Here's what i gleamed off the online reader contributed encyclopedia.

1. It's from Japan, hence the name. (no wonder it's so expensive). The price of RM40 is probably warranted if it is really the marimo or cladophora ball, a rare algae that grow into ball forms in lakes in Iceland, Scotland, Japan and Estonia.
2. Marimo means ball seaweed.
3.They grow at a rate of 5mm a year.
4.It's a protected species since 1920's in Japan. (So it's impossible that the Japanese will just sell you their national treasure right?The one's sold as ornaments are HAND ROLLED from free floating filaments ie:non rounded forms of the algae.)
5.All it needs is tap water changed every 1-2 weeks, indirect sunlight and oh.. temperature of 24 degrees and below! Seriously in Malaysia? You'd have to have the air con on the whole time. Not ideal for 'fan' people like me.

And thus i conclude i have no need for a fake Marimo.

No matter how cute it may look.


(Pictures of Marimo taken from google images from various sites)

Rather i'd want a moss terrarium!They are basically moss lovingly landscaped into a bottle. People even sell these on Etsy.

The first moss terrarium i stumbled upon had toadstools on it and now i think all moss terrariums should have one.


But of course there are many other ways to make moss terrariums work.

As a hut in a globe, or..


 ... a ladybug in the forest (okay there are mushrooms here too).


Since i was back for Chinese New Year, i took the opportunity to bully nicely ask  my brothers to go for a walk with me around the neighbourhood looking for moss. I was expecting to find thick looking green healthy moss like the pictures online, only to realize i need cold damp climates to pull it off and the only moss i could find were the kinds in drains.

I ended up stealing pebbles, charcoal bits, soil and moss from my dad's garden. And he didn't even bat an eye when i said i wanted some of the moss from his garden I guessed he's used to his daughter and her recurrent need to do something crafty.

And behold my moss terrarium!


Looks like s**t!

But i believe it will start looking better soon! Fingers crossed. If it ends up looking like a gorgeous patch of green grass i'm gonna go buy a plastic toadstool.

If you're keen on making your own, and it turn out looking better, let me know what i'm missing.

I found this tutorial helpful.Link here.

Ps: All pictures from google images and stylehive.com


14 comments:

Yumeko said...

i cant wait to see how ur moss turns out :D!!

saltvinegar said...

Thanks Yumeko! Your optimism makes me believe my moss terrarium won't turn into green slime and mud :p

skinnycat78 said...

Hey SV you are funny, looks like s**t, lol
I'm from Singapore n I actually bought a moss terrarium kit w live moss from a etsy seller from US. Looks good if I say so myself :) don't think the moss in our countries can make it... Lol

saltvinegar said...

Oooh they actually sell such kits? Are they exorbitantly expensive? I agree our moss cannot make it.. many months on my moss terrarium still looks like.. well you know..
Thanks for visiting skinnycat, though you look nothing like a skinnycat

skinnycat78 said...

Seller is Bluff Creek Naturals. The kit itself is us17 shipping to me is us12 I think . The moss r thick n beautiful looking but the one with the red thing on them dun look as good as the pic , but stil nicer than the thin cannot make it moss here

saltvinegar said...

Wah.. i wanna see it! Put it on your blog if possible :) For me it would be 17x3.5 ler.. not fair they get free nice moss. The moss here not only cannot make it, but have to scrape from longkang/sidewalk..Mine is actually triving without me doing anything to it though, regardless of how it looks

skinnycat78 said...

ai yo very lazy to blog lol you go to my fb and see la I'll add you lol

Tori said...

What does your moss jar look like now?

saltvinegar said...

It looks like shit!! Malaysian moss just don't look as nice. It looks exactly like as it started except that the moss has grown into tiny fronds but in no way forming a green carpeted feel. Experiment fail :(

Lucas Ting said...

Marimo is cute! Do come to my page to read 5 things you must know about marimo! :)

Tch_Tchy said...

hi, i heard that there is this type of moss which looks quite nice in Singapore. If I'm not mistaken, It is called Vesicularia Dubyana. It looks kinda like grass+fern and quite hard when it is dry. Maybe you can take a walk around some parks and look under the tress for it, since it is commonly found in Singapore and Malaysia.

saltvinegar said...

Thanks! I'll keep a look out!

luke said...

any update on the moss garden?

saltvinegar said...

I still have it but it just looks like a more gross version of my picture..

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