The Eye of the Beholder


I had an interesting thing happen when I was asked about how to control weeds at my last lecture. I began to talk about using low, ground-cover plants as living mulch for weed control and I said that while it was a relatively new idea to the United States, it was being used in Europe for several years and that I had been doing it my house for a decade or more with two different materials–leaves and moss.

The gentleman I was speaking to said, “Moss? Isn’t that something you kill?”


And while I am just famous for saying that we can’t all like the same thing, I just shudder at that.


My answer to him was that yes, I had seen the moss-killing products in the aisles of the big box stores, but he might be surprised to learn that moss was actually a living plant, and a very valuable one at that. I told him that if he were to go home and try to buy flats of moss online, he would spend a minimum of $80 per flat and could spend considerably more (that seemed to get his attention!)


And while I don’t have a spectacular garden of moss-that’s not really my intention, although someday I would love it if that were to happen–but I need to do a lot more than I am doing to make that happen (and probably have a lot more shade and reliable moisture than I do), I do have lots of different species of moss and I just adore them. I encourage the moss whenever and where ever I can. It solves a multitude of problems.

And yes, it makes a great mulch for me as well.

So please, do yourself a favor. Next time you see some moss, don’t just reach for a “product.” Stop to appreciate it–and perhaps put it to work for your as a mulch!

4 thoughts on “The Eye of the Beholder

  1. The Naturarian April 20, 2019 / 7:30 am

    I’d love a moss ‘lawn’! I’m a fan of my clover. It holds up to my doggos running on it and I get beautiful white flowers for all the pollinators. Win win, IMO 😊

  2. gardendaze April 20, 2019 / 7:56 am

    Oh I have clover too and lots of wild violets. At some point, I will have a post about all the “weeds ” in my lawn and how they are helping the pollinators. The lawns with wildflowers in them are actually called “freedom lawns.” Someone down at Yale coined that term way back in 1994. Very progressive.

    So glad to have you here reading and sharing.


  3. tonytomeo April 21, 2019 / 6:23 pm

    I could not believe that, with all the projects that we ‘could’ be using limited resources for, those who maintain the roads in the neighborhood decided to remove all the moss from the concrete bridges! They are concerned that the moss holds too much moisture, which accelerates the deterioration of the concrete. Those old bridges have lasted longer than bridges should be expected to last anyway, and would last another century with the moss on them. I don’t get it.

  4. gardendaze April 21, 2019 / 7:20 pm

    Wow. I had a landscape client once who used to go out every morning and scrub the moss off the rocks around her pond. I would just love to have had the leisure time to do that–which of course I would have used for much different things, of course. But, if we all liked the same things…..


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