The whimsical Stories From Space site offers a fun way to literally green your house: shape words and images out of live moss to decorate your outside walls.
The environmentally-conscious gardener adapts to the climate, as Jordan did with its brown golfing greens. Still, it’s not all arid desert and sand in the Middle East. Many countries here contain hilly, wooded areas where damp winters allow enough moisture for moss to thrive. See our comments on the restoration of the Carmel Forest after the disastrous fire of a year ago there.
An underestimated garden ornamental, moss requires no fertilizers nor even watering after its established, making it a sustainable house decoration. Here’s the way to encourage the velvety green stuff to grow just the way you want it to.
Old buildings are ideal for this, especially those standing in damp, shady corners. You could leave a message of love, or a rant on life, or express political opinions in living moss. Or if you’re into The Lord of the Rings, write a graceful green rune in Elvish to cast a spell over those who might wander into your garden. It needn’t be limited to walls: moss being a tough, resistant plant, a living green message could also decorate a footpath.
According to the National Gardening Association, moss thrives in shady, moist, sheltered areas. It likes filtered light, such as that falling through tree branches, and morning or late afternoon sun.
You need to either collect moss from an established patch (search your own or a friend’s garden) or buy some from a specialized garden center. Take it into your kitchen.
1 can of beer
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Several clumps of garden moss
Recycled plastic container with lid
Stencil with your design
Crumble the moss into the blender. Add the beer and sugar and blend just long enough to create a smooth, creamy consistency. Now pour the mixture into the plastic container.
Paint the moss blend onto a damp and shady wall, either free-hand or using a stencil. Water the new moss at regular intervals for the first month. Be gentle – don’t aim a hose at it, because that would wash it away. And don’t fertilize; moss doesn’t like a rich environment. Soon the bits of blended moss should begin to grow together into a whole rooted mass. You’ll need to trim excess away once it begins to grow and stray out of your design area – or just let it go to become a green tapestry on your garden wall.
More green design from Green Prophet:
Miriam Kresh also writes the Israeli Kitchen blog.