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Our last-ditch effort at being a plant parent.

The last year has seen a rise in the popularity of gardening, not just of flowers, but of fruits and vegetables. Many people have taken to turning their balconies, yards, and windowpanes into proliferous little mini gardens full of tasty little tomatoes, cucumbers, and strawberries, among other things. Sadly, though, not everyone is good at keeping green things alive, and our Japanese-language reporter Saya Togashi is one of them.

Unlike our naturally green-thumbed team member Go Hatori, Saya hasn’t been able to grow anything at all this past year. She has tried her hand at raising a number of sprout kits and plants in pots, but they either never sprout, or they grow into weak, wobbly stems and eventually die, and she can’t understand why. Unlike her precious cat, they can’t, after all, meow at her to tell her when they want something, so she has no idea if they needed more or less water, or nutrition, or sunlight, or what.

So when her last attempt ended with a sad, brown, dead plant, she was on the brink of giving up, until she discovered the impressive vitality of moss.

Saya has actually always wanted to grow a “Moss Terrarium”, which is made up of moss and driftwood, to create a world like that of the movie Nausicaa of the Valley Wind. But truth be told, the kits to make those are quite expensive, and with Saya’s notoriously brown thumb, she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to keep the moss alive.

So when she stumbled upon this Japanese garden-inspired “Moss Tray” cultivation kit from ceramics and planter producer Seishin Plus, which sells for the reasonable price of 2,750 yen …continue reading