Saturday, August 30, 2008

Moss Graffiti

As a city gardener, I like to see quirky stuff people are doing in public spaces. The photo is from an installation at a Philadelphia subway station, using moss. I want to find a place to try moss graffiti. Most of my house's brick surface is too sun-baked.

You blend up chunks of moss with yogurt and sugar. Then you paint it on the surface you want to decorate, like a brick or stone wall. You can spell things, stencil, make patterns. Here is a how-to from the Instructables site. More examples here, here, and here (click moss graffiti).

Eventually it makes a real moss colony and the pattern is lost when it grows, but I still think it's cool. I may propose a public project at our local community art center, the GoggleWorks, which has plenty of brick walls. I think it would be a fun project for kids.


eatclosetohome said...

I remember being told as a kid that moss was really delicate and shouldn't be disturbed. Is that not true?

Matriarchy said...

From what I have read, some are delicate and particular about growing conditions, and some are not. If I did this kind of project, I would harvest "untended moss" from an industrial building or some other source that would not damage someone's garden or protected public space. I would think you also need to choose a somewhat shady location to move it to, or it will just dry up and fall off.

Here is more about moss from our local Cooperative Extension:

Matriarchy said...

An afterthought: it might be that when you were a kid, someone didn't want you to mess up their moss, so they told you it was delicate. Or, you were poking at a delicate variety. Is the person that told you still alive to ask them?

I am thinking of a concrete area at the bottom of my front porch, that gets no direct sun and is already a little green-looking.

threecollie said...

I read a lot of blogs in the course of a day, just because I enjoy knowing what other people are thinking or doing...and I love to learn. Usually I read a post or two and move on, but yours is especially interesting. Thanks for the info on CSAs and this neat graffiti idea.

Matriarchy said...

Thanks, threecollie... I loved your fair posts, and that pic of the webbed hens-n-chicks. And am weirded out by the "For Better or Worse" end/beginning. It's like watching reruns. I hear she planned to stop, but got a divorce and needed money. I think I would rather she has started again but built a different family for us to discover.