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Mountain Moss — Ditrichum

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Moss Green Roof in the Sun?!!! 0


Moss Green Roof Again








Cool and green describe the new Moss Green Roof at The North Carolina Arboretum located in Asheville, NC. It reflects the value of  mosses in achieving year-round green beauty as well as exemplifying the tolerance of mosses that live in full sun exposure. Yes, SUN not shade mosses are featured in this innovative and creative expression of the WNC mountain landscape. In addition, rainwater harvesting is incorporated into a misting irrigation system to keep these mosses lush.

Rainwater Cistern


Mister Irrigation

Green roofs offer many environmental advantages in reducing the heat index of a building and providing solutions in terms of stormwater run-off in urban areas. For most green roofs, sedums are usually the plants of choice. However, since mosses already grow on roofs in our mountain region, it makes sense to intentionally choose indigenous bryophytes (mosses) as a horticultural preference in creating this demonstration green roof on the garden shed located just outside the Baker Education Center at the NC Arboretum.


Utilizing bryophytes (mosses) that like direct sun exposure Bryophyte types (Polytrichum, Climacium, Entodon, Hedwigia, Atrichum, Leucobryum, Ceratodon and Ditrichum), Mountain Moss has transformed a glaringly bright tin roof into a verdant expanse of moss art. With various shades of green and textures, the mosses will provide additional delight with brilliant reds, golds and bronzes when in sporophytic reproductive stages. When other garden plants are dormant or dead, the mosses will keep on giving joy, even in winter months.


EnkaDrain InstallationPlanted in 2012 during the summer heat wave while temperatures were in the high 90s, the Moss Green Roof has already been subjected to the stresses of extreme weather conditions. Yet, despite extreme heat, torrential thunderstorms, high winds, and hail, the mosses are in tact and adjusting to their new abode. With botanical characteristics that enable mosses to tolerate all types of extremes, these miniature plants are hardy. In the winter when temperatures drop below freezing, the mosses will not only survive... but grow!

Another aspect of the green appeal of mosses is that these non-vascular plants provide solutions to environmental issues such as stormwater run-off, water filtration and erosion control. Since mosses don't require any pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, there will be no groundwater contamination. To learn more about landscaping options featuring mosses, visit www.mountainmoss.com. If you'd like to see the entire production process of creating this SUN MOSS GREEN ROOF, check out these photographs that document the entire process:  https://picasaweb.google.com/118327841512493525469/MountainMossNCArboretumMossGreenRoofJune2012

Annie Martin, known as Mossin' Annie (that's me up on the roof working) an environmental moss artist/landscaper and owner of Mountain Moss in Pisgah Forest, has spearheaded this moss green roof project. Other Transylvanians involved in the production of the green roof included Joe Bruneau Joe Bruneau, 7 Arts Coop Gallery Director,   and Eric Stephenson, owner of Rite Angle Builders. With minimal structural modifications necessary to prepare the roof, the team has used EnkaDrain (produced by Colbond in Enka) as the primary substrate for planting. Kevin McRae Kevin McRae of K2 Irrigation in Asheville, has connected the existing rain water cistern into a misting system for the mosses on the garden shed roof. Supplemental watering is a key factor in long-term success of any moss feature.

In keeping with the mission of The NC Arboretum to cultivate connections between people and plants through creative expressions of landscape stewardship, this moss green roof project promotes conservation and education through this groundbreaking garden demonstration. Funded by The North Carolina Arboretum Foundation Society, this MOSS GREEN ROOF, located in full sun, could very well be a FIRST in the Green Roof industry in America. It certainly is a moss milestone for me!

Be Cool and Go Green With Moss!

Mossin' Annie





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Moss Diary #2 0

Dear Moss Diary, Today, May 20, 2010 was a FULL day of mossin' fun culminating in a major creative flow. First, I joined other Transylvania Master Gardeners for maintenance work on the rain gardens at the library. We dead-headed lots of Black-eyed Susans. However, the only bryophytes present in the garden are the ones that have migrated by themselves. For some reason, even rain garden designers have not yet considered the value of mosses with other moisture-loving plants. Off to a site consultation, I offered ideas on which mosses will work best in this formal garden. The addition of year-round green mosses will enhance this space and provide enjoyment throughout all seasons, especially when all the perennial flowers die back in the winter. The homeowner understands our spiritual connection to nature and her own delight was obvious as she proudly “showed off” her garden landscape. I left with a resurgence of creative energy as I began formulating my design plan in my head. Since this new project will require a variety of moss types, I went in search of appropriate ones. My first stop was the local recycling/trash center. I'd gotten permission earlier to retrieve mosses growing behind the dumpsters. The guys working there are supportive of my moss passion and gently tease me about my obsession. The various Bryums retrieved will work well in the long crack in front of the door frame and in cracks of the paved sidewalk areas. They were dry and dusty but a good soak at home perked them back up. Obviously, sitting behind a dumpster in the hot sun, is not very romantic compared to harvesting/rescuing in a lush forest location. But, I go where I need to find the right moss plants for landscaping applications. These direct sun mosses need to be cultivated because they have great potential. I'll include different Bryums and Ceratodon in my moss cultivation research project. My next location offered a more serene environment. The birds chirped and the soft breeze caressed me as I scaled a steep bank to retrieve Ceratodon, Bryum, Ditrichum, Atrichum, Polytrichum and a bit of Leucobryum. This area has trees scheduled to be cut with mosses growing nearby subject to destruction. Many were in sporophytic stages. I saw a number of male cups in adjacent colonies. In my solitude, Gucci, my dog, runs around in a frenzy, occasionally checking back in with me as I trudge along with my moss sled in tow. By the time I returned home, my creative juices compelled me to start transforming some ugly stumps and branches into my magical moss creations. They are magical for me, at least. I carefully choose the anchor flower or fern. Usually I use Downy Rattlesnake Plantain, Ebony Spleenwort ferns and Resurrection ferns. I made another magnificent piece to add to my Moss Pointelism series for an upcoming gallery exhibit at the Upstairs ArtSpace Gallery in Tryon, NC. Also, I made three moss fairy gifts for my friends who generously loaned me their EZ Up canopies for the Kenilworth Moss Garden Tour. I'll have fun tomorrow delivering these “moss thank-you's.” As it starting getting dark, I decided to weed my moss fairy garden. Sun mosses require more weeding than other areas. And, those cute little weed flowers I let grow earlier needed to come out to showcase mosses once again. I staged magenta Impatiens at moss vignettes to plant later as my color accents this year. My last communion with mosses was WATERING. Moss-as-art creations require frequent watering to maintain their beauty. In general, I advocate supplemental watering in moss landscapes and I have developed “an eye” for when mosses are thirsty. Also, it helps me wind down from an intense, yet invigorating, mossy day. Go Green With Moss!