Thursday, April 21, 2011

For the Love of Moss

Portland is called The Rose City but, seriously, it should be called Moss Town. Oregon's State Flower is the Oregon Grape but if a state could have a State Non-Vascular Plant then moss would be it. It is native and grows prolifically with no human intervention - trust me! Most people either hate it or love it but I would guess more hate it based on the amount of discussion over how to get rid of it.

I, on the other hand, LOVE it. Well, not in my lawn and not on my roof but I think it is beautiful everywhere else. And trust me, it is everywhere else. Especially this time of year. There is a multitude of shapes and shades, some loose and woolly, some that looking like little stars or tiny trees and others that create tight little velvety mounds.

Each variety seeks out it's desired growing conditions and makes itself happily at home. I once saw a magazine article about a woman who collected mosses from everywhere she visited. She had lovely pots of moss all identified and labeled. I have had limited success persuading it to relocate although it occasionally "takes". I do use it to cover the soil in my bonsai pots and it generally co-operates with that.

These are some branches on my lilac tree and they are covered in moss and lichen {another favorite of mine!} that remind me of the velvet on an antelope rack.

Click this picture bigger and you might be able to see how this moss looks like little stars. I should have snapped a picture of some of the rocks. I like rocks, too. Go figure! I haul them home from everywhere I go. They are really small boulders and host some interesting mosses and lichens. In the Summer they go dormant from the heat so I always water my rocks to make sure the moss comes back. And to make the neighbors wonder.


laurie -magpie ethel said...

I was just remarking to my husband as I gazed out our kitchen window how lovely the moss covered trees looked. You and I are on the same page. (altho we do need to get rid of the moss on our roof)

Annette said...

Oooo, I like moss although it's not a problem here as far as I know. All the different varieties would sure make things interesting looking. We have different kinds of vines like ivy and such that tend to take over quickly. It's a love/hate relationship! I would certainly wonder about the neighbors if they were watering their rocks!!! :)