OT: Moss Topiaries

carrieburgess3(5 NS, Canada)April 19, 2011

Hi guys,

This is my first post of the season. It is yet another cold rainy day here in Nova Scotia. And there is not much to speak of in the garden. I have complete bloom envy:( this spring has been just miserable here. But complaining about the weather is one of the things Nova Scotians do best and I am no exception.

So since there is anything worthy of mentioning in the garden. I thought you guys might enjoy having a peek at something else I have been working on. As some of you may remember I live in the woods where moss abounds. So I decided to put all that moss to good use making moss topiaries which I plan to sell at our local farmers' market.

I dried the moss in the dark to hold it's colour. I used drywall compound in the bottom of the containers to hold the trunk (branch) in place and the used hooks and hot glue to secure the moss to floral foam or styro balls. I intentionally made imperfections to create a more realistic look. Which seems to have been successful because when I showed them at our Garden Club district convention I had countless seasoned gardens ask me how large they would grow.

I know that they may not be in everyone's taste but I love them!!! They remind me of girlhood fairy tales.

I hope I have some blooms to share soon.


Here is a link that might be useful: album

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ripley529(z7a IL)

Awww, those are cute, bet they sell :)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 9:33AM
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Great Job! They are Perfect! I bet you have hour of enjoyment making them too!(Keeps ya outta trouble!lol!)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 10:02AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Hi Carrie!
I absolutely adore moss too. In fact I go on 'moss hunts' around here just to pick up more for the shade garden, lol! How did you go about making that spiral one? Did you carve a spiral shape out of the foam?
I have added moss to a grapevine wreath and birdhouses, but haven't done much else. I might have to try doing something similar to your topiaries in the future.

Great job and thanks for showing us!
Ps. the Bellis plants I started from the seed you sent are blooming now!! ;-) thanks again

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 12:28PM
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Carrie - in a word - Fabulous! If you'd be willing to share more about the processes, I'd love to read about them. Intrigued with drying them in the dark to retain color. Would occasional light be a problem? I'm thinking of my garage. And how do you determine when they are completely dried?

Another thing I'd love to know is how you rid the back of the moss of dirt and when you do that - I mean, just after collection or when dry.

Can they go outside? In the open or on covered porch?

Enchanted, Rosie

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 7:51PM
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I love your pretties. I'll bet they sell like hotcakes.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 7:54PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Beautiful, anyone would be so lucky to have one of your topiaries in their home decor.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 7:58PM
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I would buy them if you sold in Toronto. they look fantastic.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 10:59PM
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Wow - they're magical and whimsical and elegant and just beautiful!! You really did an amazing job.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 8:12AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Those are so great! Those should sell. Have you tried taking any to an area boutique that sells ornaments and other things? I bet they would love those!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:46AM
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carrieburgess3(5 NS, Canada)

Thank you everyone.

CMK, I made the spiral topiary from twisted newspaper wrapped with floral tape (all hot glue, no hooks on this one). P.S. I am so glad that your seeds germinated.=0D

Rosie, total dark isn't necessary in drying. In fact the first moss topiary I made was last August as a decoration for my daughters birthday tea party. I made it with fresh moss and roses. The moss dry nicely after the party just sitting in the house. I perked up the colour by spraying it with green food colouring and water. The moss will bleach out even after it is dried when exposed direct sunlight for an extent time. However the food colour technique will fix it up. I think your garage would be ideal for drying as long as the humidity is low.

As for cleaning, I do this as soon as it is collect. I brush and shake any needles, leaves, bark or dirt off with my hands first. Then if extra cleaning is needed I put the moss in water. Of course it take a lot longer to dry so I try to ovoid it. I try to encourage my moss to grow over rocks as much as possible. the shape is perfect and it eliminates dirt.

These ones should not go outside. But I am going to try to make ones with a more water prof compound than drywall and spray them with a permanent die to help with bleaching. I will let you know how I make out. I hope this helps.

GGG- I have thought about it asking gift shops if they might be interested in caring my topiaries. Actually I have been writing emails most of the morning. I also tried wedding rental suppliers and coordinators.

I have been a stay at home mom for the last twelve years (my enter adult life) so putting myself out there for the first time is a little nerve racking. But I have woken up everyday for the passed twelve years and done something I loved so if I am going to work outside the home I don't want tomorrow to be any different. I am hoping my passion for flowers and natures art will be appreciated.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 11:25AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Those are beautiful creations and I would definitely buy one at a show. You did a wonderful job on each of them. I have made some with purchased moss and know that it is not easy to get such a professional look.

Don't worry about putting yourself out there because those are just stunning. Can you use Etsy in Canada? I really think you could go into business with those.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:13PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Etsy is a fine idea. You can use it everywhere!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:31PM
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carrie, try your local flower shops too, use facebook to promote your products, get a table at a community farmer's market, church sales, anywhere you can promote your products. It fits in well in antique shows too.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:53PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Very sweet. I can't see quite how big they are but people who like doing dolls' houses would probably be interested, too.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 5:28PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

They look quite lovely.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 5:34PM
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