Posted in category: Moss Gardens.

Moss Garden #1 of the 2015 Moss Garden Experiment

I mentioned in an earlier post that I would be creating several little moss gardens as part of an experiment. This post is about one of those gardens, how it was set up and where I’ll report from time to time on how it’s doing.

mg1-feathery-mossMoss Garden 1 was planted with pretty, fluffy moss that I had found growing on leaves – it looks more like miniature fern than moss. Oddly enough, I believe it is actually called fern moss.

I left a larger piece pretty much as I found it. I did remove the pine needles and broke off the leaf that did not have moss growing on it. But, otherwise, the leaf matter and other yard debris (with the moss on top) was just laid on the soil.

I added a second, smaller piece of that same species of moss that had suffered a fairly aggressive washing. Thought it would be interesting to see if one did better than the other – though, it might be an unfair challenge considering that the one clump is so much bigger. (As I write this, I wonder if the pine needles provided a bit of acid for the moss and perhaps I should have left a few.)

Fruticose-lichensThe lichen pieces (the squiggling looking stuff on the left) weren’t really washed. One was still clinging to a piece of branch, so I made the branch piece as small as possible and laid it on top of the soil. (Notice the other lichen that is a veritable garden scourge – it has this nasty habit of suffocating and killing the host plant even though the “experts” claim it is benign.)

I added several other pieces of the same kind of lichen that I had found loose on the ground to my little moss garden. I believe it is Fruticose lichen, they have a small central point where they attach to the bark and then the branches grow in a riotous tangle from that point.

tree-mossI also added a pair of┬ásmall pieces of bark that had some lovely moss or lichen growing on it. One had a very creepy looking centipede or millipede, not sure of the name just it was long and skinny and had lots of legs. Poor fellow squirmed right under my spoon and went to creepy bug heaven. Hopefully, she/he/it was living alone and didn’t leave any eggs behind.

A note about the wood and bark. I’ve seen experts say never, ever, ever put decaying wood in a terrarium because it invites mold and other sorts of nastiness. Again, I’m not sure about destroying a habitat and since this moss garden won’t be closed, I thought it might be worth the risk. Seems to me the bigger risk is that they might be inhabited by things with a lot more legs than me or our kitties.

And finally, I added a few polished stones. Reminds me of a creek you would find deep in the woods. Can’t you almost hear the gentle trickle of water over the rocks?


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