Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gathers Moss

I visited my friend and high school art teacher this past weekend. She lives in Stony Brook, LI. Many who came later to this enclave cut down or topped up their oaks to force a lawn. But in her neck of the woods, the canopy of oaks and understory of mountain laurel and introduced rhododendrons reign predominant. Her garden is a place of dappled light and deep greens. She has many hostas, ferns, and snakeroot. I introduced her to snakeroot's cousin, the purple perennial ageratum, two years ago to her delight. In recent years, but with this year standing out, her garden has become quite the home to moss.
Stepping stones float on a cushion.

The moss is luxurious visually and soft to the touch.

The old driveway.
What I really like is the light and shadow play on the mossy paths.


  1. That garden is so beautiful. I'm living on the West coast but grew up East and your pictures are making me yearn for a humid east coast summer!

  2. Makes me want to lie down on it.

  3. I have a wooded area in my backyard and would love to get some moss to grow there --unsure how to get it started. This looks so nice around the stones.

  4. JGH,

    I recommend Bill Cullina's book Native Ferns, Moss, and Grasses.

    Generally you need well-drained, acidic soil conditions. Start with some seed moss -a piece from somewhere else (a garden center, neighbor's yard, etc.) Some say buttermilk or just milk diluted and sprayed on the area will encourage the moss.

    Of course, a good source of moisture helps too!

  5. Hey NYCG, thank you for your thoughtful post over at Garden Rant just now. Sigh. . .


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