There's something about adding moss to your landscaping design that feels magical. It creates a sense of life where it may be lacking, creates a feeling of flourishing, and adds welcome detail. There are at least two ways to get moss into your garden scene. One is to get the conditions right so that it develops naturally. The other is to add it intentionally using natural moss-covered rocks.
Of course, if the conditions aren't right, the moss on the rocks you import won't last. But you can fix this with a little TLC. Here, our concern is how to use that mossy effect best to transform an ordinary garden into a mystical, mossy fairyland.
Ways to Use Real Moss-Covered Rocks in Your Landscaping
The first thing to know is that not all moss is created equal. Some may be unpleasant to the touch. But others can provide a beautiful ground cover, protecting bare feet and toes from the rough stone.
Flagstone & Moss Rock
Flagstones are great walkway material and will last many years with or without moss. Decorate around the edges and between features with moss rocks to add softness to your flagstone arrangement. If the conditions are right, and you allow it, the moss can grow over the flagstone creating a natural carpet effect.
Fill in the Gaps
Adding a moss-covered rock or log-in spots where your plants and flowers fear to tread can add aesthetic value to any garden or landscaping project.
For Display Areas
If you're showcasing a particular piece of flora, hemming in a pond, or want to beautify any specialized feature of your outdoor spaces, moss-covered rocks are the right thing. Give your featured area the completeness of a well-thought-out menagerie with grass, baby-tear ground cover, and selected moss-covered wood and stone.
Caring for Moss
Once you have your moss-covered stones, you want to be able to maintain them. Moss may be the evolutionary progenitor of all plants, but that doesn't mean it needs no care. Remember, moss needs sunlight like any other plant, but too much direct light will kill it.
When you install a moss-covered stone, you will need to make sure you're also growing moss to replace it when it dies. Moss can be transplanted or spread using the slurry method. Transplanting involves taking a section of soil and moss together and moving it as a unit. The slurry method is more straightforward and involves mulched wood where moss has been growing for a long time, dirt, and water. From this slurry, moss will emerge in the right conditions.
Not all mosses are the same. Some are delicate, moist, and unpleasant to the touch. Others are tough and can even be walked on, carefully, of course. Take advantage of stashed areas of your garden to cultivate the biomass needed for moss to thrive. Think of it as a homemade fertilizer. Maintaining an optimal soil pH is also essential.
It will be vital if you want your moss-covered rocks to stay moss-covered. But you'll find that once your moss cultures grow and establish, they take care of themselves.