Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Moss garden

Pottering around in the garden on Sunday afternoon, dodging hail and rain, I discovered that the garden had something in common with Japanese Zen gardens.

Not the air of calm and tranquility which encourages meditation. Hardly - we're close to a hospital, and you soon learn to tune out the ambulance sirens. Nor the careful and thoughtful placement of the elements within the garden. Hence the name of the blog - inelegant rather than contemplative.


No - it's the moss. Over the rather wet winter, it's made a bid for the borders and succeeded in establishing itself. That'll teach me for not aerating the lawn and eliminating the stuff.


Moss is an interesting type of plant. I've always remembered the name of one type since my university days - it's very impressive to be able to say "Oh look - that's Polytrichum" when faced with what most people would consider just some green moss stuff. Or perhaps I just hang around with easily impressed people. That's more likely.

So, perhaps I should just go with the flow and live with the moss. After all, it can be extremely beautiful. And, if you really learn to love moss, you don't just have to restrict it to the garden.

14 comments:

Victoria said...

I love moss, and can never bring myself to get rid of it in the lawn. Which is probably just as well, because some bits of the lawn are pretty much 100 per cent moss...

HappyMouffetard said...

Ha - yes. If it wasn't for the moss, the lawn would just consist of daisies and buttercups.

chaiselongue said...

In our garden in Wales we found moss was better than grass on the lawn, because it didn't need cutting. The daisies were pretty, too! Make the most of it. We don't have either here in the Midi, or much grass, so don't need a lawn mower at all!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

If it wasn't for moss, I wouldn't have no lawn at all. (Sorry, bit of an exaggeration, I'm channeling Albert King again.) I've spent way too much time trying to get rid of the moss, so now I'm going to try to coexist with it. It's popping up in one of the shade beds. If it doesn't cause problems, it gets to stay. I'm hoping when my kids are grown to get rid of the grass lawn where the moss is most plentiful and start a moss garden there instead.

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

I have always consoled myself that moss is considered an art form in Japan and so I leave it to flourish
- which is does in abundance here in wet wales.
:)

Sheila said...

I do love moss and have it in the oddest places around the yard. It is so serene and simple.

HappyMouffetard said...

Wise comments - maybe my next post should be "How I learned to stop worrying and love the moss".

Dawn said...

I remember trying to get hold of moss for a garden design project some years ago and speaking to the late, great Maureen Busby (she of multiple CHelsea-award winning Japanese show garden fame). Apparently it's almost impossible to buy here but you purchase it by the square metre, just like turf, in Japan. Perhaps you could start supplying the niche, but underserved, Japanese garden lovers of the UK.

Frances said...

Hi Happy, big fan of moss over here across the pond. It has colonized every bed on our north facing slope, showing up in the wet of winter and sort of going dormant during the drought of summer. It does not seem to inhibit the perennials in any way, and keeps their roots cool and moist. The newly emerging leaves and stems pierce it easily, as do the bulbs. We love the look and feel, and are veerrrryyyy interested in that bath mat. Not to buy, mind you, but to make! Moss in the grass? I'm pulling, no make that rooting for the moss.
Frances

Nutty Gnome said...

As my lawn is mostly moss, I consider it as my 'moss mine' for the Japanese Garden I'm (very) slowly creating! I've dug up and transplanted (well...sort of plonked it in the place where I want it!)lots of moss and it's starting to look fantastic against the rocks - I love moss!

patientgardener said...

I too have come to the conclusion that I will never get rid of the moss in my garden and last summer it started to spread into the borders. I was seriously considering going Japanese at one point. They always say it is better to garden with nature than against and I totally agree

Anna said...

I am thinking about going into commercial moss production and snail farming :) Moss does have a certain attraction though and I find it quite soothing to stroke. I smiled about your comment about ambulance sirens - we're about half a mile away from a fire station. At first I would jump out of my skin whenever one passed by but now I don't bat an eyelid.

Trisha xx said...

I take comfort from the fact that moss only grows where the air quality is good. Anyhow a lawn isn't a lawn without moss and buttercups, dandelions, clover, daisies, bugle, speedwell and those weird seedhead things on stalks that you can use to catapult great distances...hardly any room left for grass after all those.. I'm beginning to understand that a wall isn't a wall without moss either...

easygardener said...

The pictures of the Japanese Moss Garden were beautiful. I like moss but don't see much of it in my garden - except in the pots that hold my carnivorous plants as they stand in trays of water. It can be amazingly lush and the green is especially vibrant.