Mosses In Containers

Today was sunny and chilly but we had a productive day at the Horticulture Center and saw many volunteers.  Big John and Larry worked on processing Holiday Light Show (HLS) lights, cords, etc. and John also started packing up for our Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo ( booth set-up tomorrow.  Larry, John and I also sized up some trees for pruning yet this winter out in the gardens.  Cindy came in to process some seeds and Janice had some research to accomplish as well.  We also saw Gary, Terry, Dick H., Rollie, Dr. Gredler, Dr. Yahr, Mark S. and many others today.  I have finished my largest seed orders which include selections both for the gardens and our Spring Plant Sale (Mother’s Day weekend).  The sale will feature a wide range of vegetables, herbs, perennials and shrubs among other things!
I think my only image in this blog is the one directly below of “Mr. Moss” (Dale Sievert).  Dale has been involved with our moss garden at RBG for many years and redesigned the “moss island” about five years ago.  Dale, a retired economics professor from Waukesha, WI, is a noted authority on mosses and using them in the garden.  I’ve visited his 1 acre garden in Waukesha twice and it is beautiful!  A good portion of the shadier spots in his garden include large plantings of mosses.  He also includes mosses in containers as well.  These photos are from Dale and I believe he currently has over 300 containers of moss.  Dale was just featured in the most recent issue of The American Gardener, which is the publication for the American Horticultural Society (AHS).  Dale, and his prominent work with mosses, were featured in the Members Profile section and he continues to be recruited as a popular speaker on this topic.  Dale continues to be our “moss consultant” and his passion for the use of moss in the garden is contagious.  Note the heavy use of plastic pots for his mosses.  Moss is certainly tough enough to withstand the winter, even in an elevated container.  Keep in mind mosses don’t actually “root” in to the soil and utilize water and nutrients through cell walls.  Once established, mossy containers can offer significant impact and based on Dale’s success seen here, it looks like we can all try a similar approach!