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Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 15, 05 at 16:12

Rocks with lichens growing on them are usually, (I think) very attractive.

But I was astonished to learn today from the Internet that in Britain they have a British Lichen Society.

So I kept looking & on one site, found this paragraph -

"Man-made habitats
Human activities provide many suitable artificial surfaces for lichens, including roofing tiles, cement, asbestos, tarmac and walls of gardens and buildings. Tombs and gravestones in churchyards and cemeteries provide habitats for a good range of lichens."

So, if lichens will grow even on concrete, those of us who have concrete lanterns may - if we live long enough - see the lanterns improve over time.

Click for a mention of the British Lichen Society

Click for the site that mentions man-made habitats

Click for general information about lichens


Follow-Up Postings:

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You Mean Something Like This?

Herb,

Maybe these don't count because they are covered in moss, but I think the effect is similar. I imagine these have been in place a long time, but from what I've seen moss grows quickly here (we get over 1600mm of rain annually). Lichens seem to prefer wood and natural rock faces, at least here in Kyushu. PF

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

Herb,
Bonsai growers and (presumably) Japanese gardeners have known this for a long time :) You can cultivate moss indefinitely, by planting it directly on a sticky soil-mix we call 'muck' - which can be made with 1 part potter's clay (or natural clay) and 1 part humus, such as: milled sphagnum moss/leaf mold etc... mixed thoroughly to a consistency of soft putty. It will adhere to rock or concrete and hypertufa

First, moisten the surface to be planted and coat it with the muck in the desired pattern; then press the collected and cleaned moss into the muck and keep the area misted a few times a day.... voila! - the moss will continue to grow and multiply. Once consolidated, the moss will tolerate periods of drying out before re-watering..

This works best if the lantern is not in full sun or windy conditions all day .. and the collected moss is not too old/coarse and has all the original soil removed... also keep an eye out for weeds after transplanting..

Lichens do take much longer, but the soil-growing species can sometimes start colonising the mossy area (climate & conditions permitting) within 5 yrs or so..


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Here, moss grows on my mini 'Kasuga' concrete lantern.

Jack


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 15, 05 at 23:26

Tom & Asuka -

Those are great looking moss examples. And since I doubt very much that I shall live to see lichens on my lanterns, I'm definitely going to give your clay/humus/moss recipe a try. Thanks for the description.

Herb


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

Jack, that's a really nice looking lantern. Good job with the moss - I am inspired.

PF, say, that red firey lichen looks a little unusual. I have seen that downtown on buildings and train cars... : )


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 16, 05 at 14:12

Encouraged by Asuka's recipe, I'm making my first attempt at growing moss on this rock.

I noticed it at the local gravel mart & had them half fill my little trailer with sand to make a bed for the rock to lie on & then they used their Bobcat to lift the rock & lower it onto the sand. I don't know what it weighs. My guess is at the very least, 300lbs: but despite that, it actually looks like a very modest little rock. If I ever want substantially bigger one they'll obviously have to be several tons each & they'll need some hefty moving equipment...

I had no idea it would turn out this colour. It was a dusty beige color from sand caked on it but that washed off easily. About half the rock's below ground, because it seemed to look better that way & I think this is it's best 'face'.

Click to see it


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

Don, I was all-set to carve a 'Yahara' style lantern (with the slender pedestal) from hypertufa, when I saw this beautifully proportioned 'Kasuga' in a garden centre, except cast in concrete... made in individual pieces like the real thing... probably made in Korea. I snapped it up :)

Herb, what a great acquisition - that's a beautiful rock.

Jack


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 16, 05 at 23:24

Jack -

It's comforting to hear that somebody else likes it. The guys at the gravel mart were helpful enough, but I'm sure they thought I was a crazy old coot.......

Herb


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

Herb, whilst admiring the contours of your new rock, I did notice something quite baffling.. and wondered if this is the same phenomenon Don reported recently ... for there, staring back at me, I saw the craggy 'face' of an old man.. with a smug expression..

At first I thought I was going mad..so I started playing around with the settings on my computer to see if I could make it any clearer..

I hope the enhanced image is easier to see - you may have to squint a little..

Jack

Here is a link that might be useful: a rock spirit?


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

  • Posted by Herb Victoria, B.C. (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 17, 05 at 0:29

Jack -

You were definitely on the right track. I went & contemplated the rock and there is a face there, and a rather alarming one. It's brought out when the rock's rotated and enhanced ever so slightly.........

Herb

Click here to see it


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

Gosh, Herb - that is quite unnerving!
I can't decide whether it looks more feline, bird of prey-ish.. or like that drummer from the Beatles

.. but I don't think it will affect the tranquility of your garden, unless one of your guests decides to do a Triple Lutz and lands on their @ss side-ways and sees it ;)

Jack


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

I think you guys are making fun of me!!! : )

Take this:

Here is a link that might be useful: Cliffy


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

Yikes! :) - Cliffy would certainly give me sleepless nights... I would have to back away slowly for fear of getting a swift blast of fire and brimstone up my.. erm.. back

Jack


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

Here's a stone dog statue, komainu, covered with lichen. I got this shot today at a local shrine. PF

Here is a link that might be useful: Lichen Face!


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

More mossy lanterns!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

beautiful pictures in this thread -- now I want one of those lanterns.

anyway, i read that unpasteurized milk on a surface will assist in developing lichen growth. Haven't tried it but would like to.

Angela


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

I couldnt resist posting these lanterns. Notice the lichens!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


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RE: Lichens on rocks - and lanterns

Lovely but reminds me of a story...
I was showing off a new rock composition to my sister inlaw and we were admiring the way it fit into the landscape around us. As were were talking she stepped forward and began scuffing moss of the newly planted rocks with her shoe. "damm moss,it grows everywheres..." and gives it a few more rubs with her shoe
My wife said she was afraid I was going to have a stroke or a heart attack as I sputtered and protested. As hard as i tried, no real words would come out so Im told it sort of sounded like
" gasp- spit-gasp gasp-snort what-what-whatWHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!"
poor woman thought I was going to faint on the spot so she finally stopped.


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