Moss in a hypertufa dish garden
A dish garden of mostly mosses evokes a spirit of peacefulness and serenity. Mosses grow both inside and on the outside of the hypertufa container.
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Soft flirty, mounds of pluerocarp moss, Entodon seductrix, is also used, adding value to the landscape.Skip to next paragraph
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In addition to mosses, this dish includes a fungus, Parmelia lichen, and a fern, Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort fern), which adds levity to the design.
When interviewing David Spain about this dish, I asked about his vision for the design.
How the design came about
“The design concept here was to combine different hues of green for contrast and interest and to take advantage of the hypertufa containers broad rim," he said..
“The shape and material in hypertufa containers lends itself to encouraging the mosses to grow outside of the interior, and it encourages the mosses to colonize the exterior of the container.
“In addition, I applied small moss colonies directly to the hypertufa for a jump-start in this colonization process, which can take many years on its own,” said David.
I particularly liked the way David used a piece of moss-covered wood as an accent in the dish. It’s subtle, earthy, and I like how it softens the hard line of the hypertufa dish.
Making hypertufa troughs has become increasingly popular. Making one for your own moss dish garden is a good project, especially this time of year, when most of us are itching to get outside.
David cautions though, “When using newly made hypertufa, they should be washed with vinegar to neutralize the alkalinity before planting them with bryophytes.”
My empty, discarded hypertufa trough is looking like a blank canvas to me right now. My next e-mail will be to David Spain to inquire about getting moss for my own feelings of serenity.
[Editor's note: To learn more about growing moss, see the article Grow Moss -- On Purpose?]
Helen Yoest lives in North Carolina and writes about Gardening With Confidence. She's a garden writer, speaker, and garden coach. She's also a field editor for Better Homes and Gardens and Country Gardens magazines and serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum. You can follow Helen on Twitter and Facebook. To read more by Helen here at Diggin' It, click here.