There is nothing like the beauty of a mountain stream . . . with the lullaby of rushing water and the soft leaves and green covered rocks.
“One gram of moss from the forest floor, a piece about the size of a muffin, would harbour 150,000 protozoa, 132,000 tardigrades, 3,000 springtails, 800 rotifers, 500 nematodes, 400 mites, and 200 fly larvae. These numbers tell us something about the astounding quantity of life in a handful of moss.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer.
Okay, I get it. There’s lots of life in moss . . . Most of us don’t live on Mount Rainier with a mountain stream nearby; we have retaining walls covered with moss. Last summer I spent hundreds of dollars trying to get rid of several patches of moss. I did what I could last summer to stomp it out . . . sprinkle with Tide . . . and pressure wash away . . . to allow me to resurface our driveway. It took months of preparation. Moss doesn’t move, but it sure grows . . .
“Only farmers and summer guests walk on the moss. What they don’t know – and it cannot be repeated too often – is that moss is terribly frail. Step on it once and it rises the next time it rains. The second time, it doesn’t rise back up. And the third time you step on moss, it dies.”
– Tove Jansson, The Summer Book
On an early afternoon in December I drove up from Ruston Way; I turned on to North Huson, where we live and was almost blinded by the sunlight reflecting off the bright green moss lining the street, the driveways, the gutters, and the sidewalks.
BY BRUCE GUERNSEY
How must it be
to be moss,
that slipcover of rocks?—
greening in the dark,
longing for north,
of birds gone south.
How does moss do it,
in a dank place
and never a cough?—
a wet dust
where light fails,
where the chisel
cut the name.
On icy mornings, even a tour around the block can be slick and dangerous. Moss lines the edge of streets and the center crown of alleys. This is the worst I have seen moss, so it must have something to do with climate change. I can put up with it, but I just know come this summer I will be at war with moss again, so I can put a second protective coat on my driveway. In the mean time I wear my own protective coat and step carefully on morning walks.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.
Wallis Roarke says
Embrace moss, it stays short, requires minimal maintenance, is green all year round and is soft to walk on. Think of how many ways you can spend the money you save.
Don Doman says
Ah, yes . . . look on the good side.
It is lovely, but my mind keeps flipping back to the work I will have to do to clear it off so I can put on a second topping on the drive way this summer. Oh, well.
Thanks for sharing.
E.G. Kane says
I have struggled with moss since buying my house in 1976. I have tried everything mechanical and chemical. I now have the solution – other than having a contractor pour my good money into it – physical relentless assault. Rakes. I have several. but ripping up moss with a rake has proven a longer-lasting approach. Time consuming – Yes! Exhausting – Yes! But a great way to exercise. Especially when you have 120,000 sq ft of yard. And removing moss is good for anything else growing in your yard.
Don Doman says
Thanks for the comment. Actually, I don’t mind the moss in my lawn, it gives is a nice green look without watering. For me I put off resurfacing my driveway for years and years and years . . . okay so I never did, but it was time so that was my summer project last year. I thought I would just waltz in around May and have it done . . . but no . . . it will probably take months again to rid the surface of moss before I can resurface. If only I could rake the asphalt . . . I’ve got granddaughters to do the raking. Oh, well . . .
Thanks for sharing . . . No Mas . . . No Mas . . .
nancy copeland says
Yes, moss is green, but it is not grass. It is also NOT any material that one would want for a driveway or walkway. I am convinced that I have an evolved species of this “animal” as I have yet to learn of anyone else praise its ability to provide a scrumptious bed for WEEDS! With al the $$$ I have spent through the years burning and/or spraying my driveway I could have had it paved. I would at least like to clear the driveway so that one may see the line between it and the lawn which is also moss-green in color.So sorry but, fungus is fungus!
Don Doman says
You are dead on . . . In prepping my driveway last year, it seemed like I was fighting moss nearly every day from May to September. We have of street parking and the cross road ends at our property and becomes our driveway, which curves and nearly circles our three car garage leaving a large area where we used to shoot baskets and play family basketball. To resurface this large expanse the moss had to go. It seemed like a losing battle. When the crew came to do the job they started with a power sweeper and vacuum. I wish I had one now because every day I see that greening tinge everywhere all over the driveway. You are so right . . . fungus is no fun.
Thanks for sharing.