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Mountain Moss is dedicated to bridging the information gap about mosses and gardening, presenting info in terms that the average gardener or landscaper can understand. 

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Learning about bryophytes and their horticultural applications can be a challenge. That’s why I felt compelled to write my book, The Magical World of Moss Gardening (Timber Press, August 2015). With over a decade of practical experience and years of research to attain expertise, Mountain Moss actively networks with bryologists and moss gardeners from around the world. Mossin' Annie approaches this information dilemma with a "good spirit" determination to share what she’s learned, and hence, encourages the use of mosses in gardens and for green roofs. We hope that you will enjoy learning more about moss from a botanical perspective leading to a better understanding of how to succeed in moss gardening.


My book includes inspirational photos of moss gardens. Most importantly, there is an ID section of recommended mosses for a variety of gardening situations and another chapter on botanical characteristics to increase understanding. You’ll find specific guidelines for achieving success in your own moss gardening efforts including planting methods and maintenance requirements. Besides Mossin’ Annie’s perspectives, profiles of selected moss gardeners offer additional insights. Order your autographed copy of Mossin’ Annie’s book for yourself and to share as a gift to your other gardener friends.

There are very few references that provide specific guidelines for moss gardening. In terms of new approaches to greening our urban environments, mosses are just being introduced or considered for green roofs, moss lawns, or living walls. There is little documentation or research to guide these emerging options for mosses in sustainable landscape applications. Confusion continues with moss misinformation and generalizations. Although the grand moss temples in Kyoto have attracted visitors for over 5000 years, the value of mosses is just gaining recognition in America as a viable horticultural choice. Of special interest: The best video on Japanese Moss Gardens is titled, “Begin Japanology – Moss Plants in Japan.” You can find it posted on YouTube here.

For those of us living on the East Coast, we finally have a field guide to help us identify mosses with color photographs. For decades, field guides have been available to naturalists identifying all kinds of trees, wildflowers, mushrooms, birds, even salamanders and the list goes on and on. But, mosses were considered too difficult to identify. Published in 2013 as part of the Princeton Field Guides, Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians by McKnight, Rohrer, Ward and Perdrize is a great reference. Joe Rohrer is a botanist who served as a valuable member of the writing team. Imagine my excitement when Joe Rohrer and his wife, Evelyn from Wisconsin, took time during their vacation to visit my Mossery and demo moss garden in June 2014. It was an honor and privilege to showcase my cultivation efforts and beauty of my moss garden. I promptly pulled out my copy of his book and asked for an autograph. It was a true pleasure to spend the day together talking moss!

Other smaller, less comprehensive guides have been published in other regions or states that you might find useful. Many are quite scientific and don’t always include photographs. Identification, even with a handy companion guide, is still a challenge. It will take a while for you to develop an eye for important details leading to proper identification of common moss species. Using a close-up loupe or hand lens is essential in field identification. Realize that most all photographs indicate the ideal or moist state of mosses. Some species can look dramatically different when dry or going through a transitional stage in reaction to climate. Photographs usually exemplify mosses in their lush state so if you run across a dry moss in nature, it might not look as expected.

NOTE: None of the field guides or ID reference books mention important factors on how to grow specific moss species. Tolerance of shade versus sun is rarely cited. Sometimes soil composition is mentioned though.


Behind the scenes about my book: If you appreciate my efforts to share my expertise about mosses on this Web site and me taking the time to write a book about what I’ve learned, then please support my mossy endeavors by buying The Magical World of Moss Gardening directly through my Web site or at one of my events. If you choose to buy from an online book distributor or your local bookstore, then you are supporting these other businesses not Mountain Moss or the author who put her energy into making this moss gardening book available. If you ate a great meal at a restaurant, you certainly wouldn’t insult your waitress by leaving less than $1. That’s my reality with the publisher (only a puny 94 cents per book). With the book already in its second printing, I am disappointed to report that as of February 2017, I have received NO royalty payments (except the advance during the intense writing phase) from the publisher for book purchases through Amazon, etc. or local bookstores. Please show your appreciation and buy an autographed copy NOW.

Mossin’ Annie invites you to leave feedback on her book. If you like it, then please visit Qutee to leave your comments. Thanks, y’all.