Images of Dutch artist Fedor Van der Valk's string gardens, featuring plants in bloom from throughout the year.
If you're a long-time reader of GardenDesign.com, you might remember that we mentioned the cool string gardens of Fedor Van der Valk a year ago. We had a chance to email some questions to Van der Valk and featured one of his gardens in our January/February 2012 issue. Here's a bit more about Van der Valk and photos of more of his string gardens throughout the year.
Learn more at Van der Valk's website, stringgardens.com.
Left: Van der Valk holds a geranium string garden.
Fedor Van der Valk creates worlds. A self-described “janitor and website builder” at Studio IJM in Amsterdam, Netherlands, he began designing sets for the studio’s stop-motion animation films and suspending live plants in them. “I always liked bonsai, but I never had the patience for it, so I started to experiment,” he says. “I had those little organic pots for seedlings, which gave me the idea to create an organic shell around the root ball.”
A pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea).
Unbeknownst to him, the balls had a bonsai precedent: kokedama, bonsai grown in moss-covered soil balls. His string gardens, though sold only at Pompon, a florist in Amsterdam, have awakened worldwide interest in the technique, especially among motivated gardeners seeking dramatic — and magical — indoor presentations for the winter.
Spring flowers twirl in the air; dwarf iris (Iris reticulata 'Katherine Hodgkin')
Van der Valk is currently working on designs for containers and vases in glass, plaster, and paper — all to be suspended — and plans to create a permanent showcase of his creations. No point in getting hung up on one design, we suppose.
Anemone clematis (Clematis montana) grow out of a ball covered in grass.
Van der Valk's studio in bloom, in the fall.
Asparagus ferns (Asparagus plumosus) hang at various heights.
Fritillaria meleagris, with its distinct checkered petals, can be carefully analyzed at eye level, high above its regular home.
Grape hyancinths (Muscari armeniacum) are spring editions of string gardens.
Van der Valk stands with a conifer tree planted in one of his string gardens.