Monday, 13 December 2010

Mad about Mosses

The 2011 calendar from Mountain Moss Enterprises

These pages are normally limited to what's going on in Budleigh Salterton or in our sister-town of Brewster, Massachusetts, but on this occasion I'm going to stray a bit further afield across the Atlantic.

I first got to know of Mossin' Annie - real name Annie Martin - shortly after moving to Devon. Realising that our back lawn is essentially an inches-thick carpet of moss I googled for help on the best way of getting rid of it. Short of stripping it out and re-turfing the lawn I didn't find many satisfactory answers. It seems that a combination of shade and the acid soil that you find in this part of East Devon - ideal for camellias and rhododendrons of course - is also perfect for growing moss, or bryophyta as the experts call it.

I discovered that there are in fact lots of advantages to having a moss lawn when I found the website for Annie's company Mountain Moss Enterprises, based in North Carolina, USA. Hardly any mowing, no need for watering during drought, no more polluting chemicals, perhaps even an ideal place to sit and write poetry, for as the company's slogan has it, "Mosses mirror the intricacies of your inner self."

So maybe some other Budleigh gardeners might like to explore mossy possibilities by clicking on

Here's the latest news about her growing moss empire from Annie's Christmas message which I've just received:

Mountain Moss Enterprises is pleased to announce the opening of our online Moss Shop at Bryophytes may be purchased from our nursery for all types of sustainable landscape projects – moss lawns, green roofs, living walls and moss feature gardens. In the specialty gifts section, you'll find moss-as-art creations, terraria, t-shirts and more. Make this year special by planning your activities with our 2011 Calendar - Bryophytes (Mosses) of Western North Carolina.

From close-up shots of individual bryophyte types to innovative interpretations of eco-friendly mosses in gardens, each month offers a new and dramatic image. For instance, March features thousands of Funaria hygrometrica mosses in sporophytic stage emerging from the charred wood of a fire. In contrast, April illustrates the beauty of Dicranum scoparium nestled in a moss-as-art log with Spring azaleas providing a framework. The elegance of a single Climacium americanum gamete towers like a “little tree” for August. Although a lichen, the brilliant red of Cladonia crystatella seemed appropriate for February.

Calendar is printed on high-quality card stock. Spiral-bound, 8.5x11. US holidays are indicated. All original photographs by Annie Martin. Cost: $22.50 US plus shipping.

Order your own 2011 Bryophyte Calendar now to delight in this magical world of mosses.

Wishing each of you a happy holiday.
Go Green With Moss!

Mossin' Annie.

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