A soft spot for moss.

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Moss is not very popular. In many parts of the world moss is something people are trying to eradicate from their gardens and green spaces. There are countless chemical products designed to get rid of moss. We have a difficult time understanding this. Moss can bring so much to your green space. It grows very well in shady and damp places where other plants might struggle. It does not need cutting back; it suppresses other plants considered weeds. It comes in many different shades and shapes.

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In our garden we do not try to suppress moss. We encourage it. We have a lot of stone walls and it is fantastic to watch them now, two or three years after building them. Slowly the moss expands along the cracks and crevices, creating a patchwork of green and grey. We also have a soft spot for ferns, and are very happy to watch how they colonise the walls as well, perfectly blending with the moss.

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Around our bonsai hawthorn the moss has really made itself at home and we are itching to get started on our Japanese Acer and moss garden planned for the space outside our conservatory. At the moment we are building the walls and creating the basic structures for this garden but we are planning to plant it up during the coming cold months. When all the trees are in place we will use some clever techniques to get the moss growing quicker. There are a lot of different solutions you can make up from ingredients like sugar, yoghurt, beer and water. All of them need some chopped up moss added to them as well. It is better to chop the moss into pieces with a knife than to put it in a blender as the plant structure can be damage from being liquidised.

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We are planning to apply the solution to all the bare spaces in the garden, around stones, along the paved paths, around the newly planted trees and so on. The moss will then colonise these areas quicker than without a helping hand. Moss has many benefits as it acts like living mulch around other plants, keeping the soil cool and moist but not waterlogged.

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We think moss deserves many places in every garden and should be looked at like an offender no more. For one thing, there will be more time to enjoy your garden, and admire your efforts with a cup of tea in hand, if you spend less time attacking and destroying your moss.  All your garden wildlife will thank you for not using chemical products and you just might start to look at moss with fresh eyes. It will really be one of the brightest shining stars in your garden, if you just let it. In places like the West of Ireland, it makes so much more sense to embrace moss and see it for the truly beautiful thing that it is.

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