Wednesday, July 17, 2013

growing moss

I have been working in our backyard lately, trying to create a landscape that is pleasing to the eye, yet friendly to our ambitious children who delight in dirt and sticks and messes.  I have three aging tree stumps and two logs that I salvaged several years ago from a tree that had been cut down in our community.  So I have tried to incorporate them better into the corner where our outside faucet and hose reside without taking away from the kids' digging area.

And one of my first ideas was to cover the log and tree stumps in moss.  We have lots of moss growing around our yard so I took my hoe and carefully scraped some of the moss up in large sections.

You can use anything that has a sharp thin edge, like a large putty knife or a thin baking sheet might even work.  I find my hoe perfect for this job. While it is easier to get larger sections like the size of a small plate, smaller pieces will certainly work. Don't worry about getting a lot of the dirt, just aim for the moss which usually lifts off nicely.

The next step is the part your kids probably will be volunteering to help with, making mud!  Mix some dirt with water to get a great, wet mud going which will be your glue for the moss to stick to the log or stump.

Then just add shovelfuls of the mud to the areas where you plan to stick the moss. Very simple. If the mud runs down the log or stump, just spray it away when you water the moss.

The log that I have positioned is resting under the spot where our garden hose connects to the faucet, the moss under there may be a bit flatter, but I don't want to the log to touch the foundation of the house, so I'm okay with that.

This is what it looks like right now after "planting" the moss on the log. Water well for the next 2-3 weeks while the moss begins to adhere to the muddy dirt.

Here the mossy log is the background with some English ivy trailing over it and some small white zinnias giving some woodsy color.

And this is one of my aged tree stumps that is nestled in the corner by the fence awaiting its mossy treatment.

Isn't the bark and ivy gorgeous together?  I love the way the ivy curls around the tree stump.  And the best part about all this landscaping is that it was free and already in my backyard.  Even the plants, like the ivy, zinnias, fern, etc., were marked 'free' at our village grocery store when I went there on Saturday. Saying I was thrilled would be an understatement. Some days it just all comes together like that and I am so thankful!

And if you want to grow some moss on a rock or stone wall, try author and gardening expert Bill Cullina's hot glue gun technique featured in a Martha Stewart video seen here. I have a rock that might need some moss too, which may keep it cooler so my baby fern can take off. Oh the fun I can have and so can you!

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