Moss Lady – Guest Blogger Answers Mossy QuestionsJanuary 06, 2009
In February of 2008 I enjoyed a tour of Norie Burnet’s beautiful mossy garden in Virginia. Recently, an anonymous reader found my post about my time in Norie’s garden and wrote in with questions for Norie. Generously, Norie agreed to answer them as a Garden Help Guest Blogger so that all readers will have the chance to learn from her. Enjoy everyone & thanks Norie!
Question: (I) toured the lovely garden of Nori Burnett…(and) want to create somethiing similar. ..Is winter the time to blow the leaves from under my trees so moss can grow better or should I wait for spring? I bought the electric leaf blower as she suggested and it is great but want to expand the moss area-so when do I remove the leaves??
Norie’s Answer: First of all, let me say how delighted I am that you continue your interest in these little bryophytes. I’m glad you purchased that electric leaf blower, which is the best way to remove leaves and woodland debris from the moss. Yes, winter is a fine time to do this because moss needs light and air circulation in order to flourish. It languishes when covered too long by leaves or debris. Also, the exposed ground will encourage the tiny spores and bits and pieces of moss to grow as well. Raking is not a good idea, because it disrupts the tender growth. Mosses, as you know, are non systemic and have no roots, just little rhizoids that help it cling to the soil and often rocks or logs too. Any time of the year is good for blowing off the moss, because trees and winds constantly tend to deposit al sorts of offerings. Caring for moss can be as labor intensive as grass,but the results are so much lovelier and also in sync with Mother Nature. Hope this answers your question. Norie Burnet “Moss Lady”
If you’d like to take a tour through Norie’s Garden, I suggest checking out HGTV’s Gardener’s Diary, which featured Norie’s garden and will “Mad About Moss” occassionally. Looks like January 22, 2009 at 7am is the next scheduled airing, so set your DVR now!
If you have a moss-related question, please feel free to submit it here, and we’ll do our best to provide useful answers.