Saturday, December 22, 2012

Getting Started

I'm Alison, I love green things and plants. In the past I've cultivated bonsai, a large collection of succulents, and various other plants. Thanks to a personal disaster, my toddler and I are now living in a new apartment, minus my plant collection, so I thought it would be fun to document my plants as I try to make some gifts and green up my space.

This year, I'm making terrariums as Christmas gifts. The motivation comes from having a strange (though amazing) family, a toddler, and not a lot of money on hand.

When it comes to Christmas, my extended family is pretty great. There aren't really many expectations about gifts, and it's all about showing up. That said, everyone really prefers handmade gifts. A great fit for me, because I love to make things. The most widely appreciated and longest lasting gift I made was a set of cactus bowls. Most of them are still alive and thriving.

With that in mind, I decided to go one step further this year and make terrariums. The plan is to include moss, some moisture-tolerant small plants, and some tropical trees from the local bonsai nursery (yes, you can be jealous now, I have a local bonsai nursery).

The best part is, my little one can help out, to an extent. She helps me water the moss, and really enjoys "petting" it, feeling the different textures!

I have three kinds of moss right now- collected when the landscapers at work came to tear it up.

I've been trying to coax it out of dormancy.I am fairly certain I have hypnum, haircap, and rock cap.

This is (likely) Rock Cap at the top in a couple of clumps, hypnum in the lower left, and threadcap in the lower right. The dehydrated nature of the moss, which was dormant when I collected it, makes it a little more challenging to tell.

Close up of the (probably) hypnum moss.
A couple of good resources-- Garden Design has a nice Moss Guide.
Looking at pictures at Moss Acres helped me get a vague idea of what I might have for moss. They also sell moss if you want some of your own.

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