Tag Archives: Container Gardening

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.

Long, cool Moss Rocks!

Sitting alone along the windowsill, Moss Rocks!™ watches beauty all around her from the security of the indoors.  No squirrel is likely to scratch her sporophytes today.

The Toadstool color of this Cobble-sized Moss Rocks!, complements the honey color of the natural wood grain wonderfully.  A perfect resting spot for Moss Rocks!

It took David Spain co-owner of Moss and Stone Gardens — Where Moss Rocks! 2 years to bring Moss Rocks! to market.  During this time, he addressed issues of shipping, color, shape and style; but more importantly, David researched the best moss for use indoors.

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 transport. ~David Spain


It all came together at the first of this year and will be offered to you in October.  Every home, whether in the arid Southwest or the frigid Northwest can have their own little moss garden, inside or out; from your desk to your deck.

Come check us out and tell us how you display your Moss Rocks!

 

AVAILABLE  October, 2011

MOSS ROCKS! Ordering Info

 

 

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.

Dish this!

 

Sliding, sloping, and slightly off centered, with hills and holes adding rhythm and rhyme, this dish rocks.

Indoors or out, this dish is suitable as a tabletop centerpiece or as a focal point, raised on a pedestal, in a shady nook of the garden.

When I first met this dish, I mistook the wood’s growth rings as striations in stone.  I was even more intrigued, when talking to David Spain, co-owner of Moss and Stone Gardens, to learn the container was purchased from a local import store.  “I was inspired by the many contours which are so helpful in transplanting colonies to a new location,” said David.

Indeed, David Spain’s trademark, in my opinion, is his use of the cracks and crevices.  No opening is spared from being filled with soft, seductive green.

“For this dish,” David says, “I chose a uniform and lush palette, using a dominate application of Campylopus introflexus, for its radiant deep green color and sheen.”

The acrocarpus moss, Campylopus introflexus, can be grown in sun or shade, keeping it’s sheen, whether moist or dry.

Another acrocarpus moss used in this creation, is the charming chartreuse colored, Dicranum scoparium’s, adding depth to the design.

Also used in the design is pluerocarp moss Bryandersonia illecebra, a native moss, common to the Piedmont area of North Carolina.

Other plants in the dish design include the fern, Asplenium platyneuron, and mosses, Hypnum and Ceratadon purpureus.

While I like the idea of walking the woods to find a relic to create moss dishes, I’m also comforted to know  wonderful teak root “containers” are available for purchase, satisfying my need for immediate gratification.

I’ll keep this dish design in mind, when I’m out and about, shopping my favorite haunts.

 

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.

Country dish

Marrying moss with stone is the perfect match, but when moss is coupled with pottery, it becomes a creative pairing.

That’s exactly what happened, when David Spain of Moss and Stone Gardens collaborated with Marsha Owen, of Marsha Owen Pottery, to design stoneware containers for various  bryophytes.

Meeting David’s exacting specifications for profile and drainage, holes are included in this dish so water is quickly whisked away. David’s vision was to create a low profile piece, “To be in proportion to the bryophyte’s low profile plantings and minimal soil requirements,” says David.

Measuring a mere six inches long, this Marsha Owen oval pottery container, allows for a Lilliputian dish that begs to be picked up and held.

David’s selection of bryophytes included Parmelia and Cladonia rangiferina lichens and Cladonia rangiferina, Campylopus introflexus, Dicranum scoparium mosses.  The fern, Asplenium platyneuron, was also used as an added element to the design.

“My goal here was to compliment the beautiful cream glaze of Marsha’s pottery and to use as much diversity as I could for this very small vessel without becoming too busy,” says David.

The design offers the perfect pairing of the lichen’s pale colors, complementing the pottery and the vibrant glossy greens for contrast.

Perfect for a tabletop setting where it can admire up close and personal.

 

 

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 and fern burl art

Time twisted, rounded, knotty growth, creates the base of this root burl, moss and fern planter.  Crevices and craters cover this found relic of an old oak tree, inviting moss and ferns to creep deep within.

David Spain, co-owner of Moss and Stone Gardens , created this moss art.  When talking with David about this piece, he says, “One of my favorite mediums for mosses is wood, and finding an interesting relic from a tree is pure gold.”

As you can imagine, these beautiful burl’s can be difficult to find but David’s dedication to moss art calls him to the woods in search of decaying tree parts.  According to David, “The trick is finding a burl root, or the heart of a decaying tree that is much denser than normal branches. They are often what’s left lying on the ground after the softer parts of the tree has decayed over decades.

The uniqueness of each piece of burl was made from exposure to the natural elements.  “These burls are similar to driftwood but have been developed by erosion and insects instead of wave action,” says David.

When David created this moss piece, his vision was to create what might be found in nature.  His goal was to create a piece, “Perfect to seamlessly blend with a native garden  or to bring indoors as a natural accent to a more formal setting.”

Moss and fern species to create this planter included, the acrocarpus mosses, Dicranum scoparium and Campylopus introflexus, and the pluerocarp mosses Hypnum cuppressiform and Entodon seductrix. Ebony spleenwort fern,  Asplenium platyneuron, also lays softly against the aged wood.

Prior to planting, the wood required no special treatment other than a strong spray wash with water to remove any loose material.

When David created this piece of moss art and in keeping with his unique style, he inoculated tiny colonies within the crevices and craters, to, as he says, “Jump start their natural spread over time.”

Now with added purpose, as I hike my woods, I will be keeping a keen eye to the ground in hopes of finding a piece of burl to build similar art of my own.

 

 

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.