Shady, moist areas can become luxurious moss gardens

Published 1:58 pm Friday, September 1, 2023

By Eddie Smith
MSU Extension Service

I recently visited a beautiful moss garden at the home of Jack and Nadine in Petal.

As I entered the garden, I was welcomed by a charming moss garden sign and a variety of ant sculptures scattered throughout the area, adding a delightful and whimsical touch.

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The ant sculptures really enhanced the moss garden, but honestly, they would enhance any garden area. They were that stinkin’ cute! I need to find some for my gardens.

The ground in this garden was covered in dense, green moss, resembling a plush carpet, while surrounding umbrella palms contributed to the enchanted atmosphere.

A unique, rustic swing provided an ideal spot to sit and relax while enjoying a magnificent view of the garden. Additionally, bright yellow-orange mushrooms sprouted through the moss, creating a mesmerizing sight.

I really loved the seating area that was defined by an old fabric rug covered in moss. It created a comfortable and serene atmosphere.

The ground in this moss garden is dense and green, resembling a plush carpet. Umbrella palms contribute to an enchanted atmosphere, while stone and steel sculptures and whimsy. (Photo by MSU Extension/Eddie Smith)

As I sat and enjoyed a cool glass of water, I was able to relax and take in the beauty of the landscape. It is amazing how being surrounded by simple green moss can have a calming effect.

At the entrance to the seating area, a variegated Milky Way cast iron plant in a beautiful ceramic pot really stood out. I recommend you try this variety, which is known for its toughness. The compact, dark green foliage is beautifully spotted in white, making it a great choice for a deep-shade groundcover or container accent.

The cast iron plant is easy to grow, making it a perfect choice for new gardeners. It can even be used as a house plant for those who want to bring a touch of nature inside their homes.

The seating area looked even more charming with the addition of pink begonias growing in colorful ceramic pots. They added a vibrant pop of color to the space and made it even more inviting.

Moss gardens offer more than just aesthetic appeal. They are unappetizing to deer, require no maintenance or fertilizer, and thrive in various soil types, including those that are gravelly or clay-rich.

Most importantly, moss gardens provide significant environmental benefits, such as helping prevent soil erosion, purifying the air and absorbing pollutants. This makes them valuable to the environment.

If you take a close look at your property, you might be surprised to discover that moss is already growing in parts of your landscape. I know I have some growing in mine. Over time, you can develop this spot into a moss garden of your own.

I really enjoyed my time in Jack and Nadine’s moss garden surrounded by the beauty of nature and the whimsical ant sculptures. It really was a great place to relax and cool off from the summer heat.