Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Foundation of Grass

As the Black Eyed Susan I planted at the base of the meter lantern began to appear, I remembered that I wanted to remove them. Last year I noticed that they did not flower as much as I would have liked. Also, every time I rolled out the garden hose, they would get crushed. 

So, I decided to pick up some Variegated Japanese Forest Grass to place in the location instead. Over time the grass should do a better job of covering over the base of the lantern box and the stones at the base. The Black Eyed Susan plants never really filled in as I had hoped. Initially, I purchased four grass plants, but I chose to plant only three. 

These grass plants have the potential of getting large over time, up to 24 inches in width. That should prove enough to fill the base, but it may take a year or two.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Moss Garden had never dreamed of such green, 
such shades, such softness
velvet elegance in the dappled light of afternoon...
Jan Haag

It finally warmed up enough to start some early spring clean-up and planting. After raking up many twigs and branches that fell into the garden and across the property, I was able to get to work on transplanting moss.

Moss had been growing in my wife's vegetable garden since last fall, and also along the edge of the back yard where water drains from some sump-pump pipes. It was relatively easy to collect the moss and transplant it into the two beds within the stroll garden on the far side of the garage.

These two beds were created a couple years back when I reworked this area. At the time, I didn't have a lot of moss to fill in the two small beds. Instead, I just placed mulch there. I never liked the way the mulch looked and hoped that I would one day be able to plant some moss. After my trip to Japan last summer, I was motivated to make it happen - some of the moss gardens I saw in Japan were fantastic. 

I was hoping to develop a bit of that esthetic in my own garden. Unfortunately, I was dealing with two different types of moss - I am no expert, but clearly the moss from the vegetable garden was different. The color, texture, and shape were not the same as that from the backyard property line, an area that gets more shade. So, I used what I could from the vegetable garden moss to fill in the smaller of the two beds. 

I then used what was left to start the larger of the two beds. I then had to mix in the moss from the backyard to fill in most of the larger bed. However, I didn't have enough of either to complete the entire bed. About one-third of the bed remains unplanted.

I will need to look for an additional source, preferably local, perhaps from a neighbor. I can also try a moss-growing mixture that I can spray on to see if that encourages new growth.

Overall, I am happy with the look, especially the brighter moss from the backyard in the larger bed. I will continue to keep it moist with water to ensure it takes hold. I only hope that the beds don't get to too much sunlight. I don't want the moss to dry up and die. Only time will tell.