Landscape with Moss? Why not!

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Home Improvement

Judith Sutton ABR CRS IDS PMN ASP IAHSP SRES GREEN   908 803-0472


Can’t Grow Grass?  Grow Moss!


Invited Guest Courtesy of David Spain

Invited Contributor:  Liza Roberts

Here's what you can do when you have a tree-filled lawn...

David Spain is an artist whose medium is moss. Yes, moss. That spongy, green, felt-like plant that sprouts in humid nooks and wooded glens. A pioneer in the expanding world of moss landscaping – and proclaimed by tastemakers from Martha Stewart to Southern Living – Mr. Spain is known for taking moss out from its darkened garden corners and bringing it proudly to an evergreen center stage. How interesting is that!?


The landscape designer’s role as a champion of moss was thrust upon Spain in 2008 when his father-in-law – whose wooded backyard was then home to many varieties of the stuff – told Spain it was “impossible” to cover his sizable front yard with moss, as well. He dared Spain to try.

So, Spain set out to learn and discovered that there was nobody to teach him. Experts on moss in the wild, yes, but no experts on moss cultivation. He considered taking a course in briology (botany relating to mosses) but realized the curriculum would cover how the plants live happily in nature, but not purposefully in landscapes.


So, he tried treating fields of moss with different acid levels, watering levels, and types of moss. He finally figured it out and did his first major garden in 2011 and hasn’t looked back.

With Spain at the forefront, moss gardens have become popular for their beauty, hardiness, sustainability, and eco-friendliness. And who among us, is not in favor of that?

Today, Spain’s moss fields supply thousands of clients with his advice. Gardens that are big and small, are appreciated by residents of modernist mansions and modest bungalows alike. Turns out people of all kinds love his otherworldly places of quiet beauty and contemplation.  Zen in feeling...


“Moss is just this verdant connection, connecting all of the other elements in the garden,” he says. “It gives you a feeling of antiquity like it’s been there for a long time. Part of it is the way the moss glows with this vibrant, verdant green but also has this softening quality. And it looks good year-round.”  And who says you don't have a "green" thumb?

(Not to mention the no-mow feature!)

Adding value for my clients and loving where we live! 


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