Peaches and Green

Mother and son design petite, low-maintenance arrangements for the lazy lover of plants.
Photo: Aaron Yoshino

Chase and Marilyn Hamano believe in you. The mother-and-son design team is dreaming up tiny terrascapes to cultivate the gardener in us all — and it’s working. These low-maintenance, little scenes are hard to kill, but easy to love. Momo Terrascapes LLC offers a natural dose of inspiration and beauty in every thoughtfully crafted arrangement.

The Hamano’s company name — a clever play on Japanese folklore’s momotaro — came about when Chase held their first creation in his hand, describing the succulent blossoms on the grainy soil as “cute little peaches.”

HHR: How did this venture begin?
CH: Two years ago, I noticed we had a lot of air plants growing in our yard. I saw some really interesting designs with air plants in magazines and on Pinterest, and so I thought we’d try to see what we could do with it. At the time, I was in-between jobs and my mom had just retired from Pearlridge Elementary. One thing led to another and now we have even more plants in our yard. We really wanted to create something easy to care for that anyone could enjoy.

HHR: It sounds like you’re on a mission.
CH: We aren’t horticulturists. We just love plants — particularly low-maintenance plants. And, we want people to know just how easy it is to include plants in their lives, as well.

HHR: What inspires your arrangements and designs?
CH: My mom and I gather our inspirations from different places.
I love the modern, minimalistic and authentic Japanese designs. I came from an area that was more corporate design. My mom is coming from the opposite end of the spectrum. She spent years working with children and loves whimsical, colorful elements. We definitely butt heads working together, but it’s also when we collaborate that we usually make the best arrangements.

Delicately arranging sprigs of jade, little succulents and puffs of reindeer moss in up-cycled teacups and unique containers, the Hamano’s Aiea backyard is now a functioning workshop for their artistry.

HHR: What type of plants do you use?
CH: We mostly use succulents and tillandsias. A lot of these plants grow quite slow, especially when you limit their water and nutrients — almost like bonsai. Most of these arrangements will keep their shape for at least three to six months in a brightly lit kitchen, living room or office.

HHR: Do you have any favorite plant species?
CH: Our favorite plant to work with is the sempervivum. These hearty plants have shallow roots and grow horizontally, which make them perfect for our containers. They’re like beautiful little rosettes. The funckianas and bulbosas are fun air plants we like to use. And, I really love these colorful little cryptanthus, or earth stars.

HHR: What are the benefits of renting/leasing plants from Momo?
CH: You can display our arrangements and you don’t have to worry about anything. Whether you’re leasing our arrangements for an office or renting just for an event, we can take care of everything from pick up to drop off.

HHR: Where can we find your creations?
CH: We are currently at Koolau Farmers on Beretania, the Wedding Cafe, the University of Hawaii at Manoa bookstore and Nui Mono. You can also find us at local craft fairs, and we’re launching our online shop this month.

Momo Design Kit: A DIY Terrascape

The Hamanos encourage your terrascaping talents with their #momodesignkit

This petite package is a perfect gift idea or an ideal way to explore your terrarium-building skills. Stocked with the necessary components and simple instructions, the only thing left to do is select your favorite succulents or air plants to add to your design.

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