It's Moss Season...
Spring is in the air my friends and I am taking full advantage of it! Because of so much rain, our poor puppies (they're dogs, but I refer to all dogs as puppies☺️) have been cooped up in the house and this weekend they ran and ran and ran as much as their little hearts wanted to! We opened the windows to air out the house which was very much needed and the sunshine filtered throughout each room as the clock ticked away. However, with the time changing this past Sunday, I feel like the day is going faster...
I was pretty excited last week when my farmin' friend Mary from Lazy Acres (I did an interview with her about her chickens and farm--find it under the Tea Time Talker tab or click here) text me and said, "WE HAVE EGGS!" I know a lot of Americans put their faith in a groundhog, but I've decided to split my faith between Punxsutawney Phil and the Lazy Acres hens! Because if you could see these beauties in person, you'd have no choice than to trust these girls...they know what they're doing! The colors are amazing; white, blue, olive, gray-green, deep brown to light brown...I feel bad cracking and eating them! However, they make our Gordon Ramsay scrambled eggs taste even better. 😋
And remember my seeds I started about 2 weeks ago? Yea, you should see those babies now! I am elated that they have all taken off! Like I said, I have potting trays scattered in front of every east/southeast window available outside of my son's room, which has always been my green house room, but so far so good, even if the weather has been rainy and cloudy.
These are only some of them. I still have to start more AND sow some directly in the ground! I don't normally sow directly in the ground, but this year I've decided to give it a try. I thought I'd wait another week with the weather changing right now. Can't believe it's all happening! Oh, and remember how I talked about ordering the dahlia tubers? Well, I went on the website to get ready to order at 9:45am the morning of ordering day. I had my list in hand and kept hitting the refresh button at 9:59. Promptly at 10am the site opened and I started my order. I swear to you, this is no exaggeration, I was probably on the site less than 5 minutes, that includes checking out, and don't you know, one of the tubers I ordered was already sold out!?! I was a little (just a little) crushed, but went back and ordered something else which made it all better! I ended up getting a total of 10 new tubers (each a different variety) and I am so excited!
With that being said, Bill and I took a walk around the yard over the weekend to kind of get a visual of what we'd like to work on this year in the yard. I hate that there is always something, but at the same time, it's only because I keep coming up with something...thank you Pinterest. While walking on the north side of the house and telling Bill what I'd "like" to do this year, he pointed out the moss growing in certain areas. I LOVE MOSS...and being the awesome husband that he is 💚, he skimmed off an enormous bag of it for me. Right now the conditions are perfect if you like moss and want to harvest some. Of course, the infamous question I got was, "what are you going to do with it?". And today I did something with it!
I decided to show you all some quick and easy ideas with some fresh harvested moss. Of course there are terrariums you could make, walls you can grow moss on, or even paint you can make with moss to grow more moss, but I like to use the moss for decor as well as give plants a nice spring and cottage feel. I also like the live moss versus the store bought decorative moss. Don't get me wrong, I use the store bought moss in many things, but having live and green moss really gives a shabby chic and natural look.
So over the weekend, my friend Bets and I headed to a vintage store for their seasonal grand opening. We've been a couple times in the past and thanks to facebook and Instagram I was able to see what was going to be in the store this season. Some of the items posted were topiaries....and I almost peed! I love topiaries and have been wanting a myrtle topiary for over a year. I've also been wanting a lavender one, but decided I can make my own lavender topiary if I found or grew a nice lavender plant. So, I focused on buying a myrtle and hopefully getting there when the doors open because let me tell you, there's always a line of women waiting to get in no matter how early we get there... And long story short, we were 20 minutes late🤦🏻♀️ My fault! I was driving...and we were talking...and I unknowingly past the exit while on the highway...and basically just headed to Florida. 🤷🏻♀️ When I asked Bets if I past the exit we were both kind of looking around, trying to figure out where we were, wondering if the exit was before or after the approaching exit. Then we both decided to TRY and work our phone GPS (me while driving and she fighting slow phone service) and when we finally figured out where we were, we had to turn around and drive back...ETA 20 minutes. It was already 10:00. So, it was time to make friends with the gas pedal! I had a topiary to buy!
And guess what...I got one...and a lavender one...and a little sheep to go with the other two I bought at Christmas...and a "cottage" sign. One thing I hadn't expected to see were these little baby tears (plant). So I HAD to have one of those. Of course Bill's reaction was exactly what I expected; "that looks like stuff in the yard".
He's right, it does resemble moss, but it's not. However, I did use the two topiaries for part of my moss project. I turned that ⤴️ into this⤵️ I love it! The moss gives this woodsy feel like the topiaries are little trees growing in a forest.
So, in order to work with moss, you have to realize moss does not have roots. It loves to stay moist and it loves shade. I decided these plants would be perfect for moss to grow along side. I can spritz the moss when necessary and I won't be placing the topiaries in direct sun. Let me show you how I got started.
Fist collect your moss. This is the bag of moss Bill harvested for me! Yes, he got a lot! Actually, I really should go see if there is anything left or if it's all mud. 😂 When harvesting moss, try and remember where it was and it's growing conditions. Was it on a rock, a piece of wood, up against the foundation of your house, was there a lot of water around it, etc. Just like any living creature, if you're going to "re-home" it, give it what it likes.
Since the moss will be brought and maintained in our house, it was very important to soak the moss or rinse it real good to get the bugs/live critters out. You'd be surprised what comes crawling out. I just had a few ants, so I was calm! Of course you have to be somewhat careful because if you are trying to use "sheets" of moss, it's very easy to tear and break apart. You will also notice how fast the moss will green up since even leaving them in a bag outside overnight can start to dry them out. I placed all my washed pieces on a plate and actually did this project outside since I was going to be working with potting soil as well. At this point I also went through and picked out pieces of mulch, growing grass, dead strands of grass, little rocks, nut shells from the hickory next door, and yes, even dog hair🤦🏻♀️. I swear NO ONE in a 7 mile radius is safe from my dogs' hair!
And here were my other supplies I was going to use for this project. They include my two topiaries, a clay pot to replant another plant, a coffee mug, and not pictured is potting soil, a square basket, my little sheep, spray bottle, scissors and craft wire.
So, starting with the topiaries, I gave the plants a good watering. Then I placed some potting soil on top of the existing dirt. I packed it in real good and mounded it up a little as well.
After I mounded it, I used my spray bottle and watered the dirt pretty good.
Then I chose my pieces of moss to place over the wet soil. It was okay to overlap pieces, but what's real important is to make sure you press firmly on the moss and work it in to the dirt. This is where it's going to grow and moss is resilient so press firmly. After you are finished with that, give the moss a good spritz with the water bottle again. And there you go!
My next project was replanting a plant and adding moss. It's the same concept except you just replant your plant first and give it a good soaking then make sure the dirt is mounded and continue with the moss. And here it is all finished! Can you tell I just love adding little figurines. This little angel was a gift from a pen pal❤️.
I have to point out a couple of things. First, there are tons of varieties of moss. From what I could see, I was only using two varieties. The pictures below will give you an up close so you can see their beauty!
This one ⤴️ looks like little stars, has a very vivid chartreuse color, and is somewhat "flat". This one⤵️ is like tiny little trees.☺️
The next project was just creating a mound for the moss-no new or existing plant to share the moss with. Most of you know I LOVE Susan Branch and I collect her coffee/tea cups. The one I used for this project is a cup that was sent to me, but the print was all blurry so they sent me a new one and told me to keep this one. I found it to be the perfect cup for moss...and sheep🐑.
Is this not the cutest thing! Look at the two different moss I used. It reminds me of a golf course!
My last indoor project was something a little different. Remember that little sheep I bought? Well I gave him a little "wooly" moss coat! I love him even more now!
He was a little trickier because I had to use wire to get it started. It was all about placing the moss directly on him and wrapping wire and pulling somewhat firmly on the wire as you went along. Unfortunately, I didn't have green wire so I was forced to use my non-green wire. Over time the moss will hide it so I'm not too worried. Keeping it spritzed will be the most important thing.
I then decided to do two outdoor projects. One was a large basket and the other was a round wired globe that I like to stick in my potted plants. Because these two will be staying outdoors, I didn't rinse the moss like I did the with my indoor uses. For the globe, all I did was push moss through the holes that were there, but not all the way through. I even overlapped some pieces if needed. Afterwards I gave it a real good water spray and then left them on my potting bench since we are suppose to get some rain tonight; that will help immensely. The glob now looks like a topiary all its own!
I'm not sure what I'll actually use the basket for, but at least it' ready. If needed, I can even take pieces out of the basket for more plants or projects. After looking through the bag of moss, I was surprised I went through about 90% of it. What was left I just threw out into a shady spot of our landscaping. The birds are searching for nesting material right now and some of them LOVE moss.
Well, I hope this inspired you to get out and harvest little pieces of moss. It's such a fun and inexpensive project and you can seriously get pretty creative! One project I would love to do is the succulent wreath with moss, but I always find a way to kill succulents🤦🏻♀️ so that's a big NO!
Enjoy your week friends!