Category Archives: Moss Media

Moss radio

We Dig Plants – Episode 74 – All About Moss


An educational interview with David Spain on growing moss gardens at home.





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


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.

Moss Rocks! are AVAILABLE

Oh dear, where to start?; when to stop? Moss Rocks! are rocking my world! Yep, that is what we’re hearing.  We can finally answer your questions!

The answer to where to start? Start by ordering Moss Rocks! right now.  Moss Rocks! are available at many Independent Garden Centers across the country and on-line.  Order today.  They make the perfect Thanksgiving hostess gift, holiday gifts, teacher gifts, and if you order 2, you can keep one for yourself.

Heck, order 8 and put in every room of your house.  How about 16, so your Moss Rocks! won’t be alone?  Better yet, order 24 to artfully arrange in groups of three.  Then order 5 more for the porch, patio, deck or to set on the table for Al Fresco dining….I guess this brings us to answering the second question…

The answer to when to stop?*  Why stop?  If it feels good, baby, just do it.  After you’ve ordered Moss Rocks! for every room of the house and every available space in the garden,  you may want to consider putting a Moss Rocks! in a secret place where you can be alone with your new Moss Rocks!  Find a quiet place where your Moss Rocks! can give you solitude.   I’ve done it.  When I need a break from my hectic work day, I can nestle next my big, bold, boulder Moss Rocks! and tell him about my day.

Moss Rocks! are excellent listeners. It’s like moss is nature’s wisdom keeper.  Unload your worries on moss — moss takes worries in and breathes wisdom out.  Just listen. You’ll see.  Moss has been listening to the earth problems for more than 450 million years.  Moss is everywhere; but now you can have your own personal patch.

*Order Moss Rocks! responsibly

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.

Moss Rocks! David Spain on Martha Stewart TV


Only in America can a small town moss expert make his way as a guest on Martha’s TV show.  Yup.  David Spain will appear LIVE Wednesday, October 5, 2011.

David is an artist whose medium is moss.  Yes, it’s true he is a moss expert, but it’s really more than that.  He has a passion for all things moss.  It won’t take long for his moss charm will rub off on you.

During the show, David will share tidbits from his Mossology, show you how to make a moss dish garden, and introduce you to Moss Rocks!

In Raleigh, Martha Stewart TV airs at 10:00 AM EST on the Hallmark Station, which, if you are on Time Warner Cable, is channel 73. To find out the channel and time it airs in your area, go here and enter your zip code.

I’ll be there as well, officially tweeting this live show with live tweets.  I hope you’ll join me and follow @Moss_Rocks and @MarthaStewart at hashtag #MarthaStewart during the show. And #gardenchat, lets’s ROCK the gardening world with our tweets. 


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.

Moss, Martha, Moss Rocks!


As a business, the word about David Spain and Ken Gergle’s company, Moss and Stone Gardens — Where Moss Rocks!, has spread solely through word-of-mouth. Recently, the biggest mouth belongs to a beast named Social Media.


For more than 12 years, Moss and Stone Gardens focused on landscape design.  Their designs are artistic in nature, which is no surprise since both David and Ken have art backgrounds — David with creating furniture from reclaimed materials and Ken as a photographer for Fortune 500 companies.


Several years ago, David began designing miniature moss landscapes, inspired by his company’s large scale landscape work.  He did this, in part, to be able to express his love of moss gardening, on a tabletop scale.  It also allowed him to share his landscapes with others who felt the same about moss, but could only afford a dish of it.

His designs are magical, Lilliputian worlds where one wants to discover more.  Matching containers to a design, David contours soil and pairs mosses and other plantings like none other.


These moss dish gardens have landed David a guest spot on Martha Stewart’s, TV show, airing LIVE, October 5, 2011.  How did Martha hear about David and his moss dish gardens?  Social media.


Through social media, mainly Facebook, Twitter and their blog, David and Ken’s website has received a million hits in just 6 months.  That’s a lotta word-of-mouth.  While I could hurt my arm patting myself on the back for being the marketing strategists behind this, I’m also smart enough to know, their products speak for themselves.  They’re good.  Real good.

But, this wasn’t enough. Clearly all this helped spread the good news about moss, and most definitely Moss and Stone Gardens – Where Moss Rocks! is  part of the new moss trends, David and Ken are also keen on educating people about moss and wanted anyone who wanted moss to have access to moss.  As such, Moss Rocks! was born — the love child from a pet rock and a Chia pet, Moss Rocks! lives.

Never before has a living moss product, with a suitable container,
designed solely for sustaining and displaying such a beautiful species
of moss, been developed and available for easy care and enjoyment.

David Spain, purveyor,  Moss Rocks!


In addition to TV, their work, now focusing primarily on Moss Rocks!, David and Ken’s moss will be discussed on radio with an upcoming guest spot on Chicago’s Mike Nowark’s, radio show and featured in magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens, Country Gardens, Southern Living, Christian Science Monitor, as well as, State-by-State Gardening (including Carolina Gardener), and many, many more.  The good word about moss is spreading.  Last week, David (with a little help from me ;~\) hosted the ever popular Twitter chat, #gardenchat.  It should come as no surprise his hosting was in the top five #gardenchats. Thanks for having us, Bren.


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

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

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.

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.


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


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

Chicago Tribune

Ledge and Gardens

Daily Mail

Conservation Magazine

Fungi takes top honours


The News Tribune

The Perter Borough Examiner



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

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