November 17, 2009

Moss gathering and other projects...



I love moss, lichen and miniatures. It started with collecting some moss from my neighbor's yard (with her permission, of course).
Here is a plant that even I can't kill, right? Definition of moss and lichen here and here. It's one of those things they say is as old as dirt, evolutionary wise. So...I am thinking it can probably survive my feeble attempts at making it thrive (read: die). Anyhow, I am enamored of the miniature nature of these tiny, vertically growing, green lovelies. Terrariums here we come. A perfect excuse to felt more rocks, mushrooms and acorns for decoration. Throw in some little deer, bunny and gnome figurines and well, it's a party in a glass container. A trip to the dollar store, T.J. Maxx and the Home Depot and we were ready to make some terrariums. 

Materials, not so many really. Find a container, covered or not. I used a variety of them, covered glass, uncovered glass and ancient looking terracotta(T.J.'s) pots. Purchase rocks, (dollar store) charcoal bits, (home or pet store), and potting soil. The fun part is finding little items to add to your tiny forest. I had a myriad of those little figurines that come in the boxes of Red Rose tea. I even used a few cupcake decorations. Grape vine, twist in a covered container could look like a tree? I'll have to try that in my tall terrarium. Moss and lichen are found in damp, darkish spots in your yard. I found this site on Etsy, that sells a gallon bag of mixed mosses and lichens. It was very reasonable and there are enough plants for a small army of terrariums. Christmas gifts anyone?

Layer like this: 
rocks, about an inch or two
charcoal, a half inch (it will keep it sweet smelling)
potting soil
moss and lichen
decorative items

Water lightly, if covered it will stay moist and create a micro environment, misting at night and morning...so cool!
Keep out of direct sun and water lightly as needed to maintain a damp environment...not too much, though.

Oh, and if you decide to add a gnome, fairy or two, be sure to include some of these

Have you spotted the imposter yet? One of these terrariums is not like the others! Check out this link and the lovely embroidered
moss and lichen that Keyka Lou makes. I could not resist them. I think my faux moss looks wonderful next to the real thing. The only stitch you need to know is the french knot. I hope you will give one of these a try, they make terrific hostess gifts!





6 comments:

  1. Your faux moss is awesome!!! I love the variations of green and the felted mushrooms are so perfect. It is beautiful!

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  2. I totally want a terrarium, I fear though I will kill it. We have some sweet moss growing on the cali lily plant. But I have no idea where to begin. Sounds like a new "how to" book to add to my reading list.

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  3. I like your post on gathering moss. I've been making some terrariums as well. They're so much fun.

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  4. Good article, like it! Appreciate the patience in putting up such determined content. Thanks for the time and effort. pressure washing service

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  5. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. Applicant Tracking system free

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  6. i absolutely love that there are other people who go and collect wild growing moss from their neighbors lol. Just a friendly moss/lichen care tip- they do not have a vascular system or roots of any kind so there isnt any filtering of minerals and compounds when they absorb water. Tap water will turn your moss brown 100% of the time, if not right away, then for sure once the minerals and metal deposits build up from repeated waterings with tap water. Also, if anyone reading this is new to moss or other bryophyte care, DO NOT EVER FERTILIZE! Same reason you don't want to use water from your sink, moss cannot handle the nitrates and mineral compounds because they lack any type of roots. Hopefully this helps someone out there, I learned the hard way and then decided to do some research, and sure enough- I was doing it all wrong and mosses are a lot more finicky than i had ever anticipated, but it's totally worth it :)

    Happy gardening !!

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