The Magical World of Moss Gardening by Annie Martin

The magical World of Moss Gardening is a very comprehensive examination of the subject: you’ll learn a lot – perhaps more than you might actually need – about creating a moss garden. The focus is on 25 varieties that are easiest to transplant/grow/care and ensuring your mosses thrive once planted/transplanted.

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The book breaks down as follows: Introduction (moss magic); Green Grandeur (a tour of moss gardens); Bryophyte Basics (botany and natural history of mosses); Mosses for Gardeners (25 bryophytes to know and grow); From Concept To Garden Plan (designing with mosses); Planting and Propagation (establishing your moss garden); Your Thriving Moss Garden (maintenance and troubleshooting).

Admittedly, although there is a clear love of mosses by the author, the text is extremely dry (ironically) and it is a bit of a sludge through the topics. And those wanting to transplant from the local forest will likely need to stick with mosses that come from garden centers since that is a focus. But just about every subject – from ideal soil types to signs of moss stress/unhappiness – is covered thoroughly and in depth. This is more a moss bible than just a guidebook.

On the first read through of the book, I was quite overwhelmed despite a great love of moss gardens. I plan to tackle it again in Winter, though, so I am prepared in Spring to begin with the designs I’ve made from the book and create a more robust moss garden. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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