By Teresa Woodard
With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I couldn’t think of a better spring green plant to pay tribute to this Irish holiday. Mosses are now greening up creek banks, rocks, tree trunks and other shady native habitats. In the landscape, moss is also gaining interest as a no-mow lawn alternative, a lush addition to container planters and an attractive accent to shade gardens.
To learn more about moss gardening, check out the Ohio Moss and Lichen Association website including a “Bryology 101” and a listing of species counts by county. Also, Joe Lamp’l shares ideas for growing moss in the landscape and container gardens in an all-moss segment on Growing a Greener World.
Here are two online sources for purchasing moss: Moss Acres and Moss and Stone Gardens. Remember when harvesting moss, avoid parks and ask for permission on private property. Only take small amounts from a colony, so the plants can regenerate.
Dear Readers – Take a look at a beautiful book that shows you how to appreciate and use mosses and other bryophytes (non-vascular plants that some call weeds) in the garden: Moss Gardening: Including Lichens, Liverworts and other Miniatures by George Schenk.