Moss. Grow It, Design It, Use It For Art

by Diane Vautier on January 8, 2012

Moss is soft. Its velvety green carpet is a welcomed treat for tender bare feet.
Moss is pretty. Its vibrant shades of green paint the world with plush hues of beauty.
Moss is cool. Its lush growth in moist, shaded spaces calms our spirits and soothes our souls.

It’s no wonder then that gardeners, designers and artists alike are drawn to the magnificence of moss. We nurture its growth in the garden, use it in home décor, and employ it as a medium for expressive environmental art.

Gardeners enjoy the softness it adds to shade gardens. Decorators use moss to add a hint of green to indoor design, sometimes topping the soil on flower pots, or on the planters themselves. Artists are using moss in a new way, as outdoor green art or moss graffiti. Moss graffiti, different than the spray paint tagging that makes cityscapes look tired and warn, add a zest to the gray urban streets. Guerilla gardeners are using it to add a fresh splash of green life to their gray concrete jungle.

Whether you want to try and make your own moss pot for your kitchen windowsill, or join the guerilla gardeners to reclaim a city alleyway and make it a living piece of art, the method of growing moss is the same.  In my own attempt at bringing outdoor gardening indoors, I’ve made moss pots to add a bit of aged character to newer clay pots so they didn’t look like bright red beacons but rather seasoned and weathered friends.  Way back in 2000, Rebecca from Rebecca’s Garden inspired me with this moss milkshake recipe. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a current link to her site, but luckily I had printed a copy and tucked it away in my garden file.

MOSS MILKSHAKE RECIPE

2 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt
4 ounces potter’s clay
Kitchen Blender
Fork
Moss
Paintbrush
Spray bottle

Pour the buttermilk or the yogurt into a bowl.  Add (4) ounces of the potter’s clay and stir with a fork until the mixture is liquefied. This will help reduce the wear on the blender.

Pour the mixture into a blender and add a handful of moss. Using the “liquefy” button, blend until the thoroughly mixed. You are now ready to apply the milkshake to your piece.

Pre-moisten the piece with the spray bottle. Then apply a thin layer of the milkshake mix over the surface of the pot or statuary.  Move the pieces into a shady location and be sure to keep it damp using the spray bottle. Soon you will have a nice addition for your garden that has aged gracefully.

Here are a few links to other moss recipes that I found online – some even include beer!

Environmental Graffiti
Heavy Petal
Green Profit

If you’re interested in Moss Graffiti and are local to Southern NH, drop me a note. I’m considering pulling together some guerilla gardeners to try this tactic in some of our less-attractive urban landscapes here in the Granite State.

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Moss Graffiti – A Unique Tool in a Guerilla Gardener’s Arsenal | DianeVautier.com
January 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm

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