A Kokedama Workshop at Book Stand


One of the pleasures of living in Los Angeles is the close proximity to nature. I still can’t get over the abundant hiking trails dotted with yellow wildflowers or the occasional coyote sighting. After growing up in the desert—where I painted rocks or spoke to silent cacti—and after years in New York City where I saw many a fire escape garden wither in the grey heat, I decided to resurrect my nonexistent green thumb. Luckily, the Book Stand pop-up shop at the Hollywood Standard was offering a plant workshop devoted to kokedama, aka the art of Japanese hanging gardens. If you’re imagining Scarlett Johansson stumbling upon a languid flower arranging class in a high-end Tokyo hotel while an Air soundtrack magically tinkers in the ether, you’ll understand how I saw myself in this situation. Sadly, I’d mistaken kokedama for ikebana, but I was still intrigued.

First of all, if you haven’t visited the online Book Stand store yet, please do so. I met Claire at the LA Art Book Fair and was completely blown away by her booth. Not only does she carry a vast array of interesting art and design books from around the globe, she sells unusual vintage books, too, and styles everything in a spare and elegant way. Also? She loves tumbleweeds and proudly displayed one in the center of the store.

I was so taken with the pop-up’s wares, that I felt it only appropriate to buy a bluebonnet button (TEXAS FOREVER), flower t-shirt, and cactus sketch book to usher in my new gardening lifestyle. They all went into a free tote bag designed by local artist Lauren Spencer King. Oh, and the workshop? It was orchestrated by Lili Cuzor, who made sure we all left with soil under our fingernails and a couple of colorful string gardens to enliven our homes. Her advice was this: “Talk to the plants, let them know you care. They will thrive.”

So far, so good.