Monthly Archives: August 2011

Moss under glass

The crane snubs moss under glass.  Once thought to be the most beautiful, the crane now shares accolades with moss, as moss trends.

Acting a bit cavalier, Crane isn’t ready to recognize moss having merit.  After all, it was his kind that stole the spotlight from moss in the first place when cranes banned together against the mosses.

Tired of hearing how mosses were earth’s first plant, evolving 450 million years ago — 70 million years before ferns, tens of millions more years before the first dinosaur, and a good many more before the crane, cranes felt they were more beautiful and the one with the most showy preen.

Today, moss is re-gaining it’s rightful place in greening the landscape by expressing it’s beauty.  And no preening is involved, either.  Moss just needs to be, to be beautiful.

The world is rocking as the shift in power occurs.  The cranes are upset, but moss takes it all in stride.  Cool, subtle, quiet and proud, moss has endured neglect, and even destruction, for many years, particularly as new species, with other qualities, strive to reach new heights.  In all acutallity, moss, while at the lowest level on the ground, is really the highest level in the pecking order of plant life. It’s just taking a while for people to understand and simplify.

Under glass, friends of  Moss Rocks! gathers to recognize moss’s due.  A doting dragon fly arrives to pay respect to his old friend Moss Rocks! Moss Rocks, in a juvenile form, called a pebble, measuring a mere 2 inches in length, sports a toadstool-colored rock for the occasion.

Blue Urn nestles close to the moss-covered wood in hopes moss will begin to attach to her rim and body.  Can you blame her?  Blue Urns have always been opportunists, so today is no exception.  Here’s hoping there’s a connection between the two. ;~\

Ebony Spleenwort (Asplenium platyneuron), potted in a  miniature asparagus cup, came to the party since, as many of you know, Ebony Spleenwort has had a long, lasting relationship with moss.  They are bound by similar cultures.  Although they truly like each other, they kinda have too since they live in the same ‘hood.

Fish Floral Frog showed up in hopes to have her holes filled. Just between you and me, Fish Floral Frog has tried this before. Try as she might,  her holes have yet to be filled. There’s a story there; I’m just not sure of the details.

Rake arrived, which was nice to see.   Rake and moss, although they don’t work well together, they like each other’s company.  Lesser inanimate objects would see no reason to hang around one another if there was no mutual benefit, as is the case between Rake and Moss Rocks!  It’s an example of unconditional love.

Chicken Black and Chicken White showed up at the party looking for some ticks to eat. Not known to be the sharpest tools in the shed, chickens tend to forget there are never any ticks at these parties, since ticks don’t hang around moss.

Crane will adapt to her new subservient role.  In fact, there is already evidence of this. Crane was last seen adding moss to her nest.  No one ever said cranes don’t recognize moss beauty, in fact, truth be told, they were jealous of moss beauty.  Alas, cranes had a good long run. Now, let’s give moss their due.


Click Here To Pre-order

Words: Helen  Yoest

Follow Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! on Twitter @Moss_Rocks and our Facebook Like page Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!

To learn more about Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!, please visit our website.  Or email David Spain at

Photo credit:  David Spain

Moss Rocks! ROCKED the IGC Show in Chicago

After 450 million years in the making, 2 years in development, a patent pending, and an infinite number of ideas flowing, stirring up juices like one might find in a frothy river, Moss and Stone Gardens — Where Moss Rocks! launched their first moss dish garden to an eager group of buyers.  Moss Rocks! are the ultimate moss dish gardens.

Yes, we sell Moss Rocks!, but we are, first and foremost, about moss education. ~ David Spain, co-owner of Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!

If you are social media savvy, and I trust you are if you are reading this blog post, you probably heard about the Moss Rocks! launch.  If you didn’t, you must have been hiding under a moss rock of another kind.  Moss Rocks! are all the buzz.  It’s only been a week and a day since the launch, and yet we have created quite the stir.  We should celebrate, with a refreshing toddy, on the rocks of course, but we haven’t had enough time for that. Soon, we hope.

Orders were taken from Maine to California; from Florida to Washington. The buzz of a whole new product hitting the market, one that is also hot and hip, AND one that can meet fourth quarter sales, got buyers wanting to meet the demand Moss Rocks! will bring.  Many were anxious to be one of the first to carry Moss Rocks!  It’s all good.  It’s a moss thing. Moss Rocks! will be available to purchase mid October, both in garden centers and on-line.

Please visit the yellow link below, Moss Rocks! Ordering Info, to sign up for notification of when they’re available.  For IGCs, click on the retail section, of the same form, to order wholesale on-line.


MOSS ROCKS! Ordering Info

Attending the Independent Garden Center show in Chicago was a mossium experience. David Spain was able to put faces to the names of so many people he met on-line through introductions from Helen Yoest, Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! marketing strategists with Gardening With Confidence. (That’s me ;~\.)

Even though we will be busy selling Moss Rocks!, we will stay close to our mission of moss education.  Our blog will continue to communicate about moss, moss dish gardens, and moss Q & A. ~David Spain, co-owner, Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!

Soon, Moss Rocks! will be rockin’ the Nation’s home and gardens, from the desk to the deck.  The moss used in Moss Rocks! was selected specifically for indoor use.  All moss naturally grows outside, given the right conditions,  but not all mosses thrive indoors.  Ours will; making Moss Rocks! adorable indoor decor.

Once Moss Rocks! are sitting on your desk or deck, we hope to hear from YOU.  Tell us how you use your Moss Rocks!  Send photos!  We will even highlight Moss Rocks! travel journeys. When you take your Moss Rock on vaca, send us photos.  Although you don’t have to bring them along, you may find you want too.  If so, don’t deny yourself.  It really is fun to hug your rocks each and every day.  So, please sign up so we can keep you in the loop of when and where Moss Rocks! are rolling…

Here’s some of the buzz we heard at IGC…  


Simply put, P. Allen Smith says of MossRocks!, “I love them.”  Indeed he does, he didn’t want to part with this Moss Rock!  It won’t be much longer, Allen, and your Moss Rocks! will be ready!

William Moss “Met David Spain this week at IGC (gardening and landscaping trade show). Check out the cool photos. He’s grows bryophytes and knows what I known for years: MOSS ROCKS!”





Shirley Bovshow with Garden Center  TV  Garden media enthusiast Shirley Bovshow says, “Chia Pets has nothing on this easy to care for and most importantly, stylish moss container. It’s more than that. Moss Rocks! is an elegant cradle for one of the plant world’s most alluring plants.”


Gardenwise with Arlena TV  Sweet Arlena filmed Moss Rocks! with this to say about Moss Rocks!, “MOSS ROCKS!!!  When I first saw the New Moss Rocks all I could do is feel Happy…they are  the Newest Cool thing!…Colorful, Calming and Modern all in one…You need 3 or 5 and they are the perfect gift for all  my gardening friends!!!

Bren Haas, Helen Yoest, David Spain, Mike Nowak. Photo Credit: Christopher Tidrick



Mike Nowak Show Yes, even Mike liked Moss Rocks!  And why not?  Organic is what Mike is all about and moss is the original organic.

Pebble power!

   Here’s more of what other’s are saying…

 There’s a reason why everyone is talking about Moss Rocks. The combination of the serenity of moss and the smooth simplicity of the porcelain “rock” makes them perfect for almost any space. They can be put in the garden for an unexpected surprise, displayed on a patio table or used indoors to decorate any room in the house. I predict that Moss Rocks are going to show up everywhere, from your neighbor’s garden to the hottest shelter magazine.  

~ Erin Schanen, author of the The Impatient Gardener.

 Bren Haas, author of BG Garden and #gardenchat, says “A stylish piece of art by God from the garden  that you can keep in your interior landscape. I’m loving how it looks like it would be complicated to keep green and yet it is one of the easiest specimens to keep healthy in your home.  I can’t wait to see these in the independent garden centers in 2012!”

Annie Haven with Authentic Haven Brand, Moo Poo Tea, says,  “I can’t wait to get my Moss Rocks here at the ranch I want one of each so I can have my own little Moss family <|;-)”

Pam Penick, author of Digging, says “How pretty and fun! After all the moss in Seattle, you’ll be able to sell oodles to the Flingers, I bet. ;-)

Chris Sabbarese with Corona Tools says, “If the Pet Rock met a Chia Pet, this would be their love child…Moss Rocks!”

Janit C, author of Two Green Thumbs, says “LOVE the new Moss Rocks!  Mini gardens unt themselves & cute as a button.  Wonderful colors fit into anywhere – inside or out!

Christopher Tidrick, From the Soil says, “Moss Rocks are one of the coolest new garden products I’ve seen in a long time. In a market where gift plants tend to be short-lived, these new moss mini-gardens promise to be chic, long-lasting and easy to grow. They’re the perfect living gift, even for non-gardeners.”

Bruce Bailey, Where Plants Rock says, “A hip and refreshing take on bringing the cool outdoors inside.  Table arrangements, hip bathroom, even putting place cards on the dining table. Moss is in and Moss Rocks is the hippest home item on the market.”

Katie Elzer-Peters, of Words says, “Moss Rocks really Rock! and they are Affordable, attractive indoor/outdoor decor.”

Seed Keeper says, “You gents are fun!  Love your new idea!”

Barbara Pintozzi, author of McGregor’s Daughter says, “Moss Rocks not only look great, they feel great.”

Mary Ann Newcomer, author of Gardens of the Wild, Wild West, says ” Cute little buggers and everybody ought to have a handful. AND, they make great gifts!”

Erin, The Impatient Gardener says , “Can’t wait for them. So cool!”

Kathy Linton says, “Displaying of the green I say! Who wouldn’t like a little moss garden to brighten up their home or office? And, it’s great for folks that are a tad busy.”

Jenny Koester says,  I LOVE these! I can think of a few prime spots to add a little green to my home and office 🙂

Wendy Rebman Bredensteiner, says  “Saw these in Chicago at the IGC. As cool as they appear! Imagine them on a teacher’s desk, in a college students dorm, an office cubicle. Want a little green that is easy to keep and hard to kill (and NOT artifical)? Will be ordering some of these for our store!”

Babs Hall, says “Totally agree. Our daughters both have their first apartments — they saw these on the website and said Oh we WANT…. :O)”

Laura King Smith says, “Just simplcistic beauty!!! Love it!”

Beyond My Garden says, “How wonderfully cute!”

Growing Herbs For Beginners says, “LOVE”

Angie Walls says, “These are completely awesome and you should do very well.”

Dirt & Martinis says, “Aren’t they adorable?”

Petie Reed says, “Beautiful!”

Anne of Green Gardens says, “Dang! I don’t think I can wait. I want to order some ASAP!!”

Jennifer Hammer says, “Those are so cute! Want!”

Sonya Reasor says, “Really like those.”

Carrie Zamorano says, “LOVE these!”
Patsybell says, “What is it about moss rocks? They always make me feel cool and relaxed. They are a great focal point for meditation.”

Words: Helen  Yoest  

Follow Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! on Twitter @Moss_Rocks and our Facebook Like page Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! To learn more about Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!, please visit our website.  Or email David Spain at Unless otherwise noted, all photo are credited to Ken Gergle.

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Hats off to moss


It’s really too bad the Royal Wedding is behind us; no doubt this moss dish garden would have morphed into a fashionable hat for the occasion.  Well, there’s always Ascot, another UK occasion to wear the height of fashion.  Indeed, moss is the height of fashion; I can imagine millineries making hats from moss next season, showing up in the middle of Royal circles.

Why wait, right?  We can have moss making a fashion statement in our gardens right now.

While this creation looks like a Royal hat sitting on a hatstand, it’s actually a gorgeous pedal dish garden with pottery made by Marsha Owen, and filled with plants, unmistakably by the hand of David Spain.

David Spain has collaborated with Marsh Owen on many designs, but he says,  “This dish has to be her best.  It’s graceful pedestal and shallow bowl, with an undulating rim, gets my heart racing.  The generous ceramic wave is also the perfect form for buxom moss colonies.”

David Spain’s latest design is filled with a beautiful mixed colony of Dicranum scoparium and Plagiomnium cuspidatum, nestled next to an Ebony spleenwort (Asplenium platyneuron) and a tuff of dwarf mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus) on either side (only one tuff shown in this photo.)  “I rounded out the voluptuous tableau with Leucobryum glaucum and a heavy sporophyte colony of Dicranum scoparium,” says David Spain.

The choice of mosses and other plants David includes in his designs, skillfully matches the lines and style of each individual dish; David has an eye for perfect plant placement.

This dish garden is an example of what has earned him the reputation of, not only a moss expert by paring mosses and other plants that work well together, but as a gifted and talented designer who uses moss as his medium. Other artists work in clay, or metal, or mosaic, David Spain works in moss.

My hat goes off to David and Marsha for another excellent collaboration for a unique design, ready to be the centerpiece for any occasion.

For next week, we will be bringing you the ultimate in a David Spain design, as we reveal a new moss garden, that you will be able to purchase (available October 1, 2011) for use either indoors or out, from the desk to deck, in any area of the country, as long as you provide shade.


Words: Helen  Yoest

Follow Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! on Twitter @Moss_Rocks and our Facebook Like page Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!

To learn more about Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!, please visit our website.  Or email David Spain at

Unless otherwise noted, all photo are credited to Ken Gergle.

Words: Helen  Yoest


Moss and metals – The ins and outs of moss

At Moss and Stone Gardens, we are often asked about the type of containers best used for growing moss.  As you consider the container or substrate selection for your moss dish, please keep the following in mind.

In – plastics, ceramics, seasoned concrete, stone, wood, soil, fabric or glass.

Out – galvanized or zinc plated metals, copper, pressure treated lumber, chemically unstable materials.

The low down from moss expert, David Spain:

Even though mosses don’t have a root system to draw nutrients or liquids from substrates they are growing on, they are still capable of conduction.  This means that direct contact with moisture, which is also in contact with a substrate or material, can transmit dissolved particles to the moss. One of the things mosses are sensitive to is heavy metals and some chemicals.

I have observed a healthy and spreading carpet of moss, stop in its tracks, as it approaches the drip line of a deck constructed with pressure treated wood. When water comes into contact with the pressure treated wood, some of the chromated copper arsenic will leach into the water and be dispersed. This will have negative effects on any moss that is in contact with this contaminated water.

The same effect can be observed with other materials like zinc, which is attached in strips on roofs to retard moss growth. Having said that, I have also observed moss grow on top of, or over pressure treated wood.  Admittedly it was always decades old pressure treated wood and not new. However, there is a difference, in terms of the moss being “upstream” from the contamination source, growing on top of pressure treated wood, is a little different than growing beneath it.

To investigate further, mosses living on top of soil that is in a pressure treated planter will fair better than ones planted at the foot of the same container. They are buffered by the soil and basically, upstream from the water that contacts the  pressure treated wood.

It is also possible to have soil in a zinc coated container with mosses growing on the soil, but there will certainly be a zone of peril where soil stops and zinc begins.

In a container using an inappropriate material for mosses, good draining soil and drainage holes would be essential to keep the mosses downstream of contaminants.

Damage to mosses from zinc or pressure treated wood may not be visible for weeks or more depending on the species, water volume and contamination levels, the metabolism rates of mosses are very slow and so visual evidence of damage takes time.

In summary, it’s best to stay on the save side and use what’s in for moss — plastics, ceramics, seasoned concrete, stone, wood, soil, fabric, or glass.

Editor: Helen  Yoest

Follow Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! on Twitter @Moss_Rocks and our Facebook Like page Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!

To learn more about Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks!, please visit our website.  Or email David Spain at

Unless otherwise noted, all photo are credited to Ken Gergle.