Coast Explorer Magazine - The Explorer's Guide to the Oregon Coast and Washington Coast
Facebook Email Twitter Instagram Pinterest
Read Coastal Explorer Visit Destinations in Coastal Explorer Coastal Explorer Calendar of Events
Nature's Carpet for the Garden
Published: 02/12/2014
Moss and Stone Gardens
Moss and Stone Gardens
photo by David Spain
1 of 2

Using moss in coastal gardens takes a cue from nature.

Mosses, the oldest living terrestrial plants on earth, carpet the nooks and crannies of the Pacific Northwest. Its lush growth can be found in abundance in Oregon's coastal forests and sometimes in our gardens.

Many gardeners consider moss an invasive plant. Another school of thought finds these simple plants add an element of tranquil beauty to the garden. Who hasn't wandered a forest trail, marveling at the velvety green blanket on rocks and logs? That same beauty can be incorporated in almost any coastal garden.

Lacking roots and obtaining nutrients from only rainfall and sunlight, mosses can grow on any hard surface, and are often seen on tree bark, rocks and other solid areas. As a result, mosses are ideal for adding a luscious green look to any garden or as a sustainable alternative for grass.

Re-imagine the lawn. Political leanings aside, traditional lawns need chemicals to thrive, consume a lot of water, require a lot of care and sometimes just aren't the right fit. Moss growing in turf grass is often thought of as a lawn pest, but that is not the case. Moss grows in sites where grass has difficulty growing. Rather than using lots of chemicals to kill the moss already growing there, consider increasing your garden's biodiversity and letting Mother Nature take her course. Moss is an excellent, low-maintenance ground cover; requiring no mowing, thatching or fertilizing.

Mosses by their very nature, have the ability to accent many garden styles. They combine wonderfully with ferns and evergreen ground covers in the shady garden. Using moss in your garden landscaping between paving stones on walkways and patios creates a sense of permanence and tranquility. On stone fountains, ornaments and boulders these heroic little plants give any garden an ancient appeal.

Utilizing moss in your landscape will require an initial time investment and a little patience. It may take several growing seasons for a moss lawn to fully fill in, or for garden objects to be blanketed in green. With cultivation and care, moss will enhance and enrich your coastal garden with many years of beautiful rewards. - By Ingrid Mueller

1 of 2
We've spent years "beachcombing" in and around some beautiful coastal homes, and during our perusals we've picked up a treasure... [read more]
The draw of the sea brought Karen and Duane Wilson to Gearhart where they constructed a home and created an... [read more]
Just steps from the beach in the village of Yachats, Koho is a neighborhood of new homes on the Oregon... [read more]
Sponsored Links
  • Cannon Beach
    Featured Destination
    Great restaurants, shopping and Oregon's most famous rock too. There is magic here!
  • Coaster Construction, LLC
    Cannon Beach Home & Garden
    Coaster Construction has been helping to shape the character of the north Oregon coast since 1973.
  • Northwest by Northwest Gallery
    Cannon Beach Home & Garden
    Contemporary painting & sculpture. Authentic works of distinction.
  • Inn at Cannon Beach
    Cannon Beach Lodging
    One block off the ocean, for rejuvenating ones spirit as well as soaking up the sites & nature.
to Coast Explorer
Subscribe to Coast Explorer Magazine now and don't miss another issue featuring our beautiful photography and design, interesting feature stories and guides to coastal attractions, events, dining, shopping, arts and lodging. Annual subscriptions (3 issues) are only $15