Monthly Archives: March 2012

If moss companion plants could talk…Spring


Springtime arrives to The Moss Farm in Raleigh, NC. With spring comes the delicate wildflowers along with ferns, Mayapples, and other perennials. It’s been about a year since many have seen each other. Let’s listen to hear what they have to say….

Houstonia caerulea, Bluets.
Moss - Thuidium delecatulum

Down here, HERE, see me? Yoohoo Japanese Painted Fern.  Can you find us?  Over here…we’re baaaaccccckkkkk.  Had a good rest, you?  We are ready to bloom and blow our fool blue heads off.  Who all’s here?

 

Athyrium niponicum ’Pictum’, Japanese Painted Fern.
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum

Under the spores, the Japanese Painted Fern mumbles,”ラット, they’re back.  They are so annoying.  Always too happy especially for being blue….be nice…be nice…be nice…Of course I see you, Bluet; welcome back”

 

 Epimedium, barrenwort
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum and Hypnum cupressiforme

Ah man, I need to stretch…

 

Epimedium, barrenwort
Moss - Thuidium delecatulum and Hypnum cupressiforme

…That’s better…

 

Athyrium ‘Ghost’, Ghost Fern
Moss - Thuidium delecatulum and Plagiomnium cuspidatum

Dad  (Japanese painted fern) is here.  I wonder where mom (Lady Fern, A. filix-femina) is too?  I wonder if they’re still talking…

 

 Asarum canadense, Wild Ginger
Moss - Thuidium delecatulum

Feed me, feed me, feed me….

 

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’
Moss - Thuidium delecatulum and Bryoandersonia illecebra

This is the year I’ll prove size really does matter…as in the smaller, the better…

 

Mertensia virginica, Virginia Bluebells
Moss – Thuidium delecatulum and  Hypnum cupressiforme

I’m not English.  I’m not Spanish.  I’m American.  I’m not English-American.  I’m not Spanish-American.  I’m American-American.  OK, give me your best shot…

 

Hepatica, liverwort, kidneywort, pennywort
Moss - Thuidium delecatulum

Hepatica – Hi, I’m Hepatica.

Virginia Bluebells – May I call you Liverwort?

Hepatica – No, you may not.  Please, call me Hepatica.

Virginia Bluebells – How about Kidneywort?

Hepatica – No please, call me Hepatica.

Virginia Bluebells – How about Pennywort?

Hepatica – No please. I insist. Call me Hepatica!

 

Pulmonaria officinalis, Lungwort
Moss - Thuidium delecatulum

Please don’t judge all worts by their spots…

 

Heuchera ‘Tapestry’, Coral Bells
Moss - Thuidium delecatulum and  Hypnum cupressiforme

Does this pink make my hips look big?

 

 Stylophorum diphyllum , Woodland Poppy
Moss - Thuidium delecatulum

Don’t I look dashing in dew? Seriously, don’t I look good in everything?  You don’t think this moss is stealing the beauty from my showing, do you?  DO YOU?

 

Podophyllum peltatum, May apple
Moss - Thuidium delecatulum

Push, push, a little more, push….

 

Podophyllum peltatum, May apple
Moss - Thuidium delecatulum and Bryoandersonia illecebra

There, there, that’s better…

 

Saxifraga stolonifera, Strawberry geranium
Moss -  Bryoandersonia illecebra
(also a little, tiny, Galium odoratum, sweet woodruff)

I hope stripes are in this year…

 

 

Order your Moss Rocks!  online today.  Moss is grand.  Moss is green.  Moss is good. Make the most of it; order Moss Rocks! today.

By: 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 info@mossandstonegardens.com.

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

Moss trending — Country Gardens magazine photo shoot


If you ever get the chance to be apart of a photo shoot, even as a bystander, do it.  They are so much fun.  Interesting, in fact.  If nothing else, you will get a lesson in light.

Moss and Stone Gardens Photographer, Ken Gergle shooting the shoot

By the time David Spain’s flower frog collection was photographed for Country Gardens magazine, he was experienced.  Earlier that week, David’s dish garden designs were also photographed at the Moss Farm, the nursery for Moss and Stone Gardens.

There was no way his entire collection of flower frogs could be photographed for the feature story — David has more than 250 flower frogs. And if there is one thing we learned about David through blog posts this past year, besides his love for moss, is that when he embraces something, he goes all the way.  The man knows nothing about doing something half-way.

While his collection caught the eye of Country Garden’s editor, James Baggett, the backdrop for shooting David’s collection ain’t too shabby and, no doubt, led the desire to feature the collection.  With moss trending the two together–moss creating drama beyond floral frogs on a bench, was magic.

F lower Frogs

Although flower frogs are still functional, collectors have come to appreciate them as stand-alone ornaments, artfully arranged on walls, placed in glass-front cabinets, and even leaping into the garden…..

….”My collection grew as as it became common for my mother and grandmother to give me flower frogs as birthday and Christmas gifts,” says David Spain.

Pick up a copy to learn tips for collecting flower frogs and the best match with the right type of plant.

 

 

Order your Moss Rocks!  online today.  Moss is grand.  Moss is green.  Moss is good. Make the most of it; order Moss Rocks! today.

By: 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 info@mossandstonegardens.com.

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

Moss Rocks! Turf infestation

 

Dear Moss Rock,

Thank you for dispelling the myths. I have an infestation of sagina in my turf and have yet to discover a permanent solution to its removal. Do you have any suggestions?

Bonnie

Hello Bonnie,

Sagina refers to a long list of plants, many of which can be invasive to our cultivated landscapes. Sagina subulata whose common name is Irish moss and Sagina subulata aurea (Scotch moss) are two plants that are very often thought to be a moss. With an appearance that resembles some acrocarpous species of moss and plant labels to back up their borrowed pedigree, many people simply assume they are real moss.

Both of these moss-mimickers need full sun to thrive, produce small flowers, and have roots which is unlike any true moss. If a species of Sagina is invading your moss, I advise removal by hand before they set seed, if Sagina is invading your turf grass you will probably need chemical control, as most turf problems tend to result in their use! Best of luck, Bonnie.

David Spain a.k.a. Moss Rock

Moss -- Dicranum scoparium

NOT moss -- Scotch moss, Sagina subulata aurea

I am often asked about Irish Moss and Scotch Moss as though they were actually bryophytes and I thought I’d take this opportunity to set the record straight.

The desire to have a ground hugging, evergreen, carpeting plant is widespread throughout the horticulture world. There are not many to choose from and mosses are taking center stage these days. Their qualities are undeniably attractive and ecologically friendly, so it’s no wonder that cultivars such as Sagina subulata borrow the reference to moss in their name. However, Irish moss only resembles moss but does not share in it’s distinctive qualities and versatility. In fact, Scotch and Irish Mosses are well known for their finicky performance and very often wind up withering away. So the next time you see that pretty fuzzy plant at the nursery with the mossy name, be forewarned of it’s non-relation to mosses and demanding nature.

 

 

Order your Moss Rocks!  online today.  Moss is grand.  Moss is green.  Moss is good. Make the most of it; order Moss Rocks! today.

By: 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 info@mossandstonegardens.com.

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

Moss Rocks! – Collecting moss

Failing mosses being colonized by appropriate species.

Dear David Spain,

My husband and I have collected moss from around the neighborhood and have transplanted it into an area where we are creating a moss garden. For a while it seemed as all the moss was doing well and was green, but now some of the moss has turned brown and looks dead while other areas look great and are spreading. What are we doing wrong? Please help as we have spent a lot of time collecting and transplanting and do not want to loose what we have.

Thanks for your help,
Cindy

Dear Cindy,

When you collect different species of moss and then plant them together, their needs aren’t always the same. You may think of moss as just moss, but of course there are many species and it’s often difficult to discern differences without using a loupe or consulting a bryologist. I suggest that you learn the basics of identification by knowing your acrocarp from your pleurocarp and keep these two separated.

Most acrocarps do not like constant moisture while most pleurocarps do. My advice for your situation is to continue a regular watering schedule and allow the mosses that are flourishing to take over the ones that are not. Dead or dying mosses of one species can make a welcoming surface for other mosses to invade or spores to germinate on. You can speed up the process by fragmenting some of the flourishing mosses directly on top of the ones that are failing.

I have seen large areas transplanted with a moss that was not appropriate for the conditions and all of it die. The area continued to be watered as if the moss was still alive and after a couple of months the spores of another species germinated on top of the decaying moss which created a perfect nursery for the right species to develop.

This bed of dead moss (photo above) acted as a moisture retentive substrate, erosion control, and weed preventer. It allowed for spores of other mosses to have places to land and take hold without blowing away. Developing a moss area by transplanting will eventually lead to some of the species performing better than others and the faster growing species will subsequently dominate the area.

You can of course let mother nature decide what species to introduce by clearing the area down to bare earth and then begin watering just as though there was moss already present. By creating the conditions first, spores that are present will germinate and grow, this way the appropriate species will be encouraged. If you build it, they will come!  Happy mossgardening!

David Spain a.k.a. Moss Rock

 

Order your Moss Rocks!  online today.  Moss is grand.  Moss is green.  Moss is good. Make the most of it; order Moss Rocks! today.

By: 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 info@mossandstonegardens.com.

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