The Moss Garden in Winter

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9 Responses to The Moss Garden in Winter

  1. Corene says:

    more moss! more moss! Beautiful.

  2. Mario says:

    The moss is very cool. Thanks for sharing these pics. Is it completely naturalized or do you care for it?

    • calvincaley says:

      The moss is about 20% naturally occurring, about 20% moss-like vascular plants which I planted as ‘placeholders’ while I wait for the native mosses to take over, and the rest are transplants from elsewhere on the property (I have a LOT of moss in my wooded areas). I try to keep my ground as clear and as smooth as possible to give the mosses their best chance to spread by both stoloniferous growth and the spreading of spores, and I water regularly in the driest weather. I can’t say I groom them, but I don’t ignore them either. Thank you so much for stopping by–hope you’ll subscribe or visit regularly! Best, Calvin

  3. croftgarden says:

    Cool, green, damp woodlandy moss fantastic. I may take to trying to nurture mosses with my lichens. Thanks for the inspiration. Christine

    • calvincaley says:

      Thank you, Christine, and thanks for subscribing. I am a big fan of lichens (symbiosis is cool! I wish there was a way to make it happen with bacon and beer!). Is there a way to cultivate them, or do they just sort of happen where you live? If you do decide to cultivate true mosses, the best way is to determine what local mosses thrive in the conditions you want to grow them and then start with transplanting, allowing the mosses to spread and proliferate on their own. David Spain of has lots of useful information, there is a distance learning class on mosses available here, and there is a book about mosses and companion organisms by George Schenk, which you are probably aware of as a lichen lover. Soon you’ll be in Bryophyte Club! The first rule is talk about it all the time. Best, Calvin

      • croftgarden says:

        Hi Calvin thank you very much for the information, I’ll certainly follow it up (hooray more books to buy!).
        Our somewhat damp climate and pure air makes this a perfect environment for lichens and bryophytes. Lichens grow naturally on all the rocks, on the roof, on the house walls and even on the plastic rubbish bins. It takes about 3 years for the first ones to appear on a new surface. I’ve seen suggestions about treating surface with everything from yoghurt to dilute slurry, but I’ve not got round to trying any of these yet. However I am planning on bringing small pieces of rock which already have a lichen flora into the garden in the hope that the spores will spread and start new colonies.
        We don’t have any trees but there are mosses on parts of my land. So I need to created a suitable habitat in part of the garden before I can begin transplanting. However I think I need to do some research first.
        How I love new projects.

      • calvincaley says:

        If I had to come up with ANY ‘best part’ of the whole regulated-landscape thing, it is the knowledge that I have gained of native plants, especially the mosses and other primitive companion plants. I have always said that learning to be a gardener meant learning patience…learning to be a gardener of mosses (and I am sure, lichens) means to redefine patience altogether. I don’t buy into the yogurt/slurry apocrypha (see my post The Mossmaster 3000). I have heard of these things, of course, but while rarely have I heard of them attempted (you can search the Sunset Magazine blog archive for ‘Moss’ to read about one such attempt, other than my own), but no one ever reports back on the results. That’s because I don’t really think it works any faster than just waiting.

  4. croftgarden says:

    Gardening is the quintessential part of the slow philiosophy. I try to cultivate patience but it is difficult at times. I’m with you on letting nature take its time, washing surfaces with anything here would be total waste of time with the amount of rain we get at times.
    My new books have arrived and the moss/lichen garden is this years special project.

    • calvincaley says:

      With LOTS of naturally occurring mosses to take small transplant plugs from, I get to see results with a little more immediacy. Waiting for the mosses to set spores and spread on their own is the same. I hope your new books are helpful; sometimes just having the photos to keep hope alive is all you need! Thank you for your visits and participation–best,

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