Category Archives: Moss Dish Gardens

Growing a Greener World

In June of 2012 Moss and Stone Gardens became the focus of a fantastic television series, Growing a Greener World. Hosted by Joe Lampl’ and broadcast nationally on PBS stations, GGWTV has become known for it’s appealling coverage of a broad range of interesting and topical green subjects. Beautifully filmed in high definition, it is a treat for the eyes as well as the soul. We were contacted by GGWTV’s co-executive producer and resident canning expert, Theresa Loe, expressing interest in learning more about mosses and the possibility of their inclusion for an upcoming show. After a few communications it was apparent that mosses and our work with them would have enough interest to become a full episode. Naturally we were thrilled with the aspect of another chance to share our message of mossy goodness with a national audience!

We awaited the arrival of Joe Lampl’ and the GGWTV team at our Moss Farm nursery with great anticipation. The visually stunning camera work that has become the trademark of GGWTV series was accomplished for our episode by the work of a very talented team of brothers, Carl Pennington and David Pennington. Together, Joe, Carl and David have traveled extensively to cover so many interesting topics and locations that to sit and talk with them is an adventure all it’s own. The few days that we spent together was an unforgettable experience and eye opening as to the demands of producing a high quality television series. I should mention that GGWTV is also comprised of other very talented personalities and team members which we didn’t have the opportunity to work with in person, such as the uber charming celebrity chef Nathan Lyon.  We did get to know some of the other great folks such as the previously mentioned Co-executive producer and chicken aficionado Theresa Loe as well as the existentially provocative Social media director Christa Hanson, both of which we adore and appreciate tremendously.

We began with a strategy meeting at sunrise – days always begin at sunrise when working with a television crew – and mapped out locations to film the script. We began filming rather quickly and wouldn’t you know it, I’m first up to bat with my close-up shots. Although not my first time on camera, I have to admit it was quite a challenge to condense my words within the framework of the script. Those of you who know me understand that I am not short-winded about my passion for moss! It was also hot as hades and impossible for me to not perspire. We were constantly running fans and wiping my face in between takes. I have to say that the patience of Joe, Carl and David in their determination to get the shot was phenomenal. Dealing with a sweaty, fumbling subject was only part of the ordeal as much of the challenge was constantly changing lighting and background noises.

After meticulous preparations we would be at the finish line of a segment only to have it interrupted by an amazing and seemingly determined variety of audio interlopers;  a plane overhead or a chainsaw or a car horn or a leaf blower or a lawn mower or a -I kid you not- crew of city workers with a bulldozer to clear a right-of-way at the bottom of our property!  Luckily for us they were PBS supporters and agreed to begin their clearing at the other end of the right-of-way.

Interesting to see, was just how seamlessly Joe could move from off-camera to on-camera. I suppose that after so many years of hosting television programs Joe has developed that skill but it is also apparent, watching him work, that  he is a natural talent. The really kind and enthusiastic person you see on the screen is what Joe is like in real life, but for that to be felt and seen by viewers, he also taps into his ease with the camera and keen focus on the subject matter. So what may look casual when edited and shown over a half hour program was really a grueling sun-up to sun-down schedule of scene set-up and shoots over a sweltering three and a half days.  Not once did I see Joe with even a bead of perspiration! That twit! Oh, did I type that out loud?!

Ken and I were fascinated by Carl and David’s expertise with the visual and audio recording of the events.  Obviously they are pros and it shows. Both Ken and I relate very well to the challenges of documenting our work with mosses but these guys were also capturing sound. Their commitment to high quality audio was very rigorous to accomplish and constituted most of the demands of the time needed for the shoot. We became attuned to the ambient sounds during filming but mostly kept an eye on David as he listened through his headphones. By the last day of shooting I could sense an approaching sound violation by the slight cocking of David’s head as the microphone picked up the earliest vibrations detectable to his trained ear.

Needless to say, all the work to make this episode happen was worth it and, thanks to Joe and his crew, we are one step closer to giving mosses their due and taking them off the list of weeds to spray with herbicides. With topics like this being examined on quality programs we can all learn how to work towards growing a greener world.

Visit Growing a Greener World’s website to see the Moss Gardens episode #319 from season 3 or look up your local listings and find when it airs on your local PBS station. While your there, be sure to check out all the other amazing episodes and connect with the GGWTV team and joe gardeners’ from around the world through their Facebook page.

David Spain a.k.a. Moss Rock

*remember to click on the images to enlarge and enjoy them at higher resolution 

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Follow Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! on Twitter @Moss_Rocks and our Facebook 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 photos are credited to Ken Gergle.

Moss, an Orchid, and Marsha Owen’s pottery

 

Phalaenopsis blooms rise high above a commissioned pottery piece by Marsha Owen.  A beautiful work of art that can be used inside as a centerpiece on the dining room table or in the foyer as a fresh welcome home. Set this dish garden next to the bed for a soothing sight while waiting for the light to wane from evening to night.  During the warm summer months, this moss and orchid dish garden could be admired outdoors.

David Spain wanted an orchid container that used moss as  a living plant not as a dried up, deceased, dressing.  David explains, “Paired with orchids, moss is treated most often as a mulch not as a living plant.  Wanting to combine moss and an orchid as living species, I was inspired to create a container that allowed the two to be displayed together, but with both kept alive.”

David’s clever design is a ring to combine a living moss dish garden with an orchid (or another plant); one that possess  separate containers, allowing for different watering and soil conditions.

When designing your orchid container, considering adding live mulch to keep the composition fresh and alive.

 

 

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.

David Spain in Country Gardens magazine

 

Our very own, David Spain co-owner of Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks  is featured in the most recent issue — early spring — of  Country Gardens magazine.  We featured the photo shoot back in May; today, the story is nestled among many other truly unique and wonderful stories in one of America’s most loved magazine.

The story is titled:  As Green as it Gets, by moi,

Raised high in a pedestal dish or lowered into the depths of an old oak log, a moss dish garden lets you admire a lilliputian landscape at close range.  David Spain, co-owner of Moss and Stone Gardens in Raleigh, creates these verdant little landscapes in various vessels. ….

The story also includes an in-depth how-to for making your own dish gardens at home.  I hope you pick up your copy today.  When yours arrives in the mail, carve out some time and settle in for a good, long read.

 

 

 

 

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! David Spain on the Martha Stewart show

To view David’s segments, click here: David Spain on Martha Stewart scroll down; see it on the left?


There is a lot to be said for being asked to appear on the Martha Stewart television show.

Forever more, Moss and Stone Gardens has pedigree with bragging rights to quip, As seen on Martha Stewart TV.  In today’s vernacular, that means something.

On October 5, 2011, Moss expert David Spain, stood beside Martha chatting about moss.  It’s widely known, Martha is a lover of moss, with the grounds of her Maine home blanketed in various species of moss grown naturally in her locale.

With an invitation to appear just 2 weeks prior to the segment date, there was much to do.

 

David Spain reading in the Green Room of Martha Stewart's TV studio


Personally David was ready with the phone call.  David eats, sleeps and peeps moss; however, there was still much to be done.  Most of the preparation to appear on Martha’s show centered around what dishes to use to make the moss dish gardens, and more importantly, how to succinctly talk about propagating moss and doing a moss dish gardens in 6 minute segments each.  There is a lot to be said about moss; a lot to learn.

But the crackerjack Martha team found the right person to speak on the subject — David Spain.  David has dedicated his life work to the subject of moss.  And with moss trending, having an articulate spokesperson sharing mossology, will ensure keeping the trend going for some time to come.

STUDIO MEETING

We arrived the day before for a 3:30 studio meeting.  This gave us time to go over the
next day’s segments, as well as, time to unpack the boxes and set the tables.  We also got a tour of the studio, peaked into Martha’s office (we had to stand on our tippy-toes), and peered into the Green Room where David would wait before and after his appearance; where I too would hang out before I took my seat in the audience.

FIRST SEGMENT
Martha and David’s first segment kicked off with a little about David’s creds and some perky play about Mossology and testing the audience about some fun moss facts.

This was followed by learning how to propagate moss by knowing the difference between your Acrocarp and your Pluerocarp. We can say with confidence, Martha knows the difference.

At the end of the segment, Martha’s staff photographer took an image of the two at their work station.

SECOND SEGMENT
In their second segment, moss dish gardens were the main course, with a final adieu to Moss Rocks!

Martha and David were in their element, both appreciating moss in the natural landscape and creating miniature landscapes in the form of a dish garden.  Both dish gardens proved to be very easy to make and charming in design.

David’s dish gardens have been photographed by Country Gardens magazine for the early spring issue due out in January.  You are sure to be inspired to make your own and David gives a step-by-step approach to teach you how.

For more information on David Spain and Moss and Stone Gardens, visit their website or tour the media kit on this blog.

David Spain says, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience being on Martha Stewart’s TV show and until we meet again, Martha, Moss Rocks!

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 info@mossandstonegardens.com.

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

Moss, maple, mortar

The pairing of moss and maples melds together like moss on moist.  This antique Japanese teak rice mortar, inspired David Spain to go with the placement of a Japanese maple, nestled deep in the mortar base.  As David explains,  When I found this 100+ year old teak mortar, I knew it was going to make a very special moss container. The rot resistant teak wood is perfect for a long lasting and compatible material for mosses.

The placement of the Japanese maple, suited this piece nicely, With a piece of this size, adding a larger plant for height interest was possible, so I headed out to the Japanese maple tree farm.  After selecting a couple of specimens, with appropriately sized root balls, I chose this Acer palmatum ‘Toyama Nishiki’, says David.

Pleased with the pairing of the mortar and maple, David then chose three moss rocks, of appropriate scale, and placed them in the shadow of the developing bows of the cascading maple.  Then David added three Ebony spleenworts (Asplenium platyneuron) to balance the plateau offered by the unique shape of the mortar.

Several varieties of moss were added to suggest a miniature scape completeing the vignette.  Campylopus introflexus, Anomodon attenuatus, Anomodon rostratus, Leucobryum glaucum and a little Dicranum scoparium seemed to fit the venue, arranged with pleurocarps on one side and acrocarps on the other.

To finish off the design, David, Tucked and seeded mosses in the pockets and crags of the gracefully aging teak, giving them a head start on their inevitable pairing.

 

Moss Rocks! will be available in October.  Sign up today so you can be notified when Moss Rocks! are available for purchase.  Moss Rocks! will be sold through Independent Garden Centers and on-line including our own site, where we will also carry other moss-related products.

Until then, think moss.  Moss Rocks!

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 info@mossandstonegardens.com.

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

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.

AS THE WORLD ROCKS
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.

FRIENDS GATHER
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.

AVAILABLE Mid OCTOBER, 2011 

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 info@mossandstonegardens.com.

Photo credit:  David Spain

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 info@mossandstonegardens.com.

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

Words: Helen  Yoest

 

Moss trending

 

Emerald green, rolling mounds, stillness enticing, and barefoot begging, mosses are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

Primitive plants, evolving 450 million years ago — 70 million years before ferns and tens of millions more years before the first dinosaur, mosses are finally getting their due.

There has been a marked trend towards moss within the past year. As homeowners look to less maintenance and more environmentally friendly practices, mosses for a shady spot are the epitome of green. With few demands, moss, once established, rarely needs watering, needs no fertilization, plus it will eventually knit together, suppressing weeds.

When a power house like Anthropologie, a leader in new mythologies, uses a moss garden as their backdrop for entire catalogue (December, 2010), you know moss is trending.  The catalogue is so popular, it can be bought on eBay.


The same could be said for Garden Design magazine. The April 2011 issue, featured an 11 page spread on the famous moss gardens of Japan. That’s a lot of ink.   No doubt, Garden Design magazine is filling the need to satisfy their readers. I know David Spain, Ken Gergle, and I read every word, taking notes in hopes of one day seeing the many moss gardens of Japan.

Martha Stewart has had a long love affair with moss and in the August 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine, Martha features1 a nice story on moss dish gardens.

For Country Gardens magazine, I produced a similar story, due out next year, featuring David Spain’s designs along with a how-to for making a moss dish garden of your own.

In addition to the mentions in national media, moss is trending with local press as seen in Carol Stein’s column of the News and Observer about David Spain’s garden and The Moss Farm.  Regional magazines are also trending moss, with the stories in

the April, 2011 and in the February, 2011 issues of Carolina Gardener, and, of course, bloggers covering the globe, are picking up on moss trending, like the “Wordless Wednesday” post by Rebecca Sweet. The quiet beauty of Rebecca’s post says it all.

GROWING MOSS

Most mosses prefer a moist, shady location with a commonly held belief that they require an acid pH range between 5.0 to 5.5.  According to David Spain, “I have dispelled the common adage that mosses prefer an acidic soil in the 5.0 to 5.5 range. Moss is often found growing on acidic substrates, and  this is often noted as an indication of their preference for that pH range. It is more correct to say that other plants don’t prefer pH levels of 5.0 to 5.5, therefore acidic soils promote less competition, thereby allowing moss colonization. Most mosses will colonize a much wider range of pH than other plants since they do not draw nutrients from substrates, their need for a certain pH range is overstated. (example: I have mosses growing happily on potting soil.)”

Although most mosses prefer shady woodland settings, there are others that like a range of climates from Bryum argenteum growing in the cracks of sidewalks, Tortulla muralis found in desert regions, and Camplylopus introflexus growing in coastal regions.


Rhizoids, not roots, are what attaches moss to the ground. Because mosses have no roots, amending the substrate isn’t necessary; moss will grow on compacted soil, even clay.

As a nonvascular plant, so primitive they get what they need from the environment — moisture from the boundary layer of the soil, rain, dew, and even fog; nutrients and water move from cell to cell by osmosis. During times of drought, mosses go dormant.

As a lawn replacement for shady locations, as the ground cover in a woodland garden, or even used in decorative dish gardens, mosses are gracing more home gardens today than ever before.

Mosses come in both clumping (Acrocarpous) and spreading (Pleurocarpous) forms.

For lawns, the spreading forms, or the Pleurocarps, are generally recommended for their ability to a form a seamless carpet. Hypnum imponens (sheet moss), Plagiomnium cuspidatum (woodsy mnium), Thuidium delecatulum (fern moss) are good choices for shady lawn replacement and for sunnier areas, Entodon seductrix. These have low profiles, producing spreading, fast growing colonies, and a prostrate habit. Adding more than one species is recommended to increase the chances of a moss liking it’s location, forming a dominate colony.

The clumping forms, or the Acrocarps, are generally recommended for borders, as living mulch between plants or under trees — in areas where their quilting, mounding, three dimensional effect can be appreciated.

In spite of a preference for moist sites, we can encourage mosses to colonize in places that aren’t naturally moist, by lightly irrigating the area to allow for colonization. Once established, mosses don’t need irrigation. Keeping them irrigated will hasten the growth process and add intrigue, watching various mosses vie for fiefdom.

For even more interest, add woodland wildflowers to your moss, such as creeping phlox (Phlox subulata), foam flowers (Tiarella spp.), Oconee bells (Shortia galacifolia.)

Mosses’ tiny leaves are vulnerable in that they don’t have the waxy cuticles of vascular plants, absorbing rain or dew directly on the leaf surface. Mosses convert sunlight into energy, using chlorophyll, but because moss is on such a small scale, even the tiniest leaf can inhibit their potential. As such, keep mossy areas free of long standing debris.

As a young plant, while mosses are establishing, it’s recommended to weed by hand, carefully removing a young weed so as not to disturb the colony.

Mosses reproduce through spores and leaf fragmentation. Spore season is one of the most magical times in a moss garden. Getting low to see a stand of moss spores is a rewarding moment, engaging even the most studied moss experts.

In planning a design, know that moss gardens tolerate occasional foot traffic; moss is not as delicate as they look. However, in areas of frequent traffic, stepping stones are recommended.

Adding moss to your garden, being green as it was in the beginning, will garner you a new perspective, making what is old, new again.

Post script

A MOSS FOR EVERYONE

To meet the increased interest in moss, based on an unprecedented amount of requests to include moss in their customer’s home and garden decor, David Spain and Ken Gergle created a new gift item — Moss Rocks!TM Moss Rocks is a new home and garden decor item using a specialized ceramic container, with a patent pending design to maintain and display a specific species of mosses.

This gift item is uniquely suited for low maintenance care, indoors and out, from your deck to desk. Official launch of Moss Rocks!™ will be at the Independent Garden Center’s conference,Tuesday, August 16, 2011. Be sure to check out our blog that day, as we share with you Moss Rocks!

A sampling of other links to moss trending….

Seattle Times

Kitsap Sun

The Boston Globe

Charlie Wan

Geen Muze

View From Publishing

Suite101.com

Chicago Tribune

Ledge and Gardens

Daily Mail

Conservation Magazine

Fungi takes top honours

Examiner

The News Tribune

The Perter Borough Examiner

 

Footnote

The Ins and Outs of Moss

1 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.

From David Spain…

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:

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 safe side and use what’s in for moss – plastics, ceramics, seasoned concrete, stone, wood, soil, fabric, or glass and avoid what’s out for moss - galvanized or zinc plated metals, copper, pressure treated lumber, chemically unstable materials.

 

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.

Bullish brown moss dish garden

Earthen browns splashed with creams, in a salt-fired stoneware container, looks like it would be at home in a barn of a brown bull.  Feeling bullish myself from time to time, I think I would enjoy a brown bowl in my own abode.

Perhaps I should add this brown moss dish garden on the table top of my shade contained gazebo, covered in vines. The colors speak to me.  The effects of salt in the firing process intrigues me.  Filled with a variety of mosses – Bryoandersonia illecebra, Campylopus introflexus, dicranum scoparium, Leucobryum glaucum, and Atrichum undulatum — messes with my mind with sensory delights.  One must be careful with a seemingly brown and green dish, when indeed, the depth of the bowl and the bowl’s contents are deep in mystery.

The ebony spleenwort, planted off-center, adds height and balance to the mosses. David Spain designed this dish by, “Dividing the planting scheme with pleurocarps on the left and acrocarps on the right.  I thought it would be ineresting to see both types of mosses, side by side.”

This design tactic created an interesting dish for comparing moss types.  David says, “I further added Parmellia lichen to pick up the salt glaze texture and light green tones.”

It is indeed interesting to see the pleurocarps and acrocarps side by side, in this deep brown dish.

 

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.

When you’re feeling blue, dish

Nary a breeze to move summer air, sweat beads on the brows of even the most sincere southern sons and sisters.  Seeking shelter under the old oak tree, or carrying a glass of sweet tea onto the veranda to find your favorite chair, then rocking to a rhythm of the crick in the ceiling fan, waiting for the worst part of the day to end.

If you aren’t careful, you might start to feel blue.  The heat can take the glamour out of a southern day.  Instead of feeling blue, let blue rule your sweltering solitude.

David Spain, co-owner of Moss and Stone Garden needed a way to combat those hot and heady hours.  David’s inspiration for this blue dish, was to feel cool at the sight of blue, “Blue not only has a calming effect, it can also make you feel cool. I paired the blue bowl with Meehan’s mint (Meehania cordata). When Meehan’s mint flowers, purple-blue blooms add a refreshing complement to the blue in the dish. “

Mosses, of course, were added as a main ingredient to this dish, accented with a dash of the ebony spleenwort, for height and texture.

Mosses used included, Bryoandersonia illecebra, Thuidium delecatulum, Plagiomnium cuspidatum, Campylopus introflexus and Climacium americanum.

So the next time you feel blue, dish this up for a summer respite.

 


 

 

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.