Like many other families, we have finally gotten to the point where we no longer enjoy spending gross amounts of money on plastic junk for gift occasions. It may be because we’re all pretty creative folks or simply just broke, but each holiday season becomes a contest as to who can create the finest homemade gifts. Whether it’s a colorfully painted window shutter or cabbage palm boot, one never knows what to expect, other than it’s not from China. This year’s creations from Nail Travels were DIY moss gardens. Read on and find out how to make these fun and affordable gifts.
Moss is everywhere! After searching online for the best way to grow moss or create some kind of moss milkshake, my mother showed me some moss growing on her cabbage palms. After that, I began to see moss everywhere. It would be on rocks or under leaves, growing everywhere in both damp and dry environments. Use the moss around you to begin your creations. It’s already growing there so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
How To Create Your Own Moss Gardens
- Gather: Some of the best moss I found was in my gutter. Go figure. It’s a great excuse to take the dog for a walk and go moss huntin. Look on trees for all kinds, especially Spanish moss, the southern jewel of mosses. Think about how a small bromiliad or fern can add texture and height. It’s out there, just waiting to be found.
- Surface: This experiment began with trying to figure out how to write on walls with moss. As it proceeded, it seemed easier to get the moss to grow horizontally. Once it attaches itself to the surface, then we can revisit hanging it on the wall. We began with old pieces of wood from the yard then graduated to Alabama river stones. Let your imagination run wild.
- Adhering: First, decide where the moss is going to go and spray or squeeze that area with an adhesive substance. Next, make strips of cotton and stick them to the glue. This is supposed to hold in moisture while your moss is figuring out its new environment. Now it’s time to play in the dirt. Potting soil, fertilizer, and water should be mixed until it’s moist enough to be shaped with your hands. Create little berms of soil to cover the cotton strips. One recipe I found added corn starch, which I used on several designs until I was out. At that point I just used dirt and water and it didn’t appear to make that much difference.
- Moss Time: You’re ready to begin sticking moss into your dirt mounds. Have a spritzer bottle handy to keep everything moist while you are designing your creation. It’s a good idea to mix the water with some fertilizer and use it daily to keep your moss moist. Consider that some may not be happy in their new neighborhood and will have to be replaced over time. There’s always new moss out there ready to take its place.
Moss gardens in Oregon are going to look different than ones in Mississippi. Enjoy the variety and the individuality that your locality will add to your art. You’ll get to the point where you are noticing moss in places you never saw it before. I recently saw some in Belize that I wanted to smuggle home, but it was the same kind my mom has in her backyard. One has to love living in south Florida. And who wants to go down for smuggling moss from Central America? At least make it orchids.
What fresh moss gardening ideas can you suggest?