Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Spring is coming. If you have been living with snow, be sure when it melts to clean your garden ornaments with mild soap and water and remove mud and mold and maybe moss. Sometimes moss is part of the beauty of an old garden urn or pot. Clean the inside of all containers you are replanting. The plants will be happier with no leftover insects or disease spores and, of course, new soil.



Jackie in Seattle said...

Concerning leaving the moss on garden ornaments:

If the articles are made of concrete(cement), moss will "eat" the porous, older material. I know only too well! As a bride 25 years old, 45 years ago and still in the same house, I loved the beautiful moss that started growing on my front steps here in the damp Northwest (old steps) and people passing by would comment on lovely it looked. Well !!

Now, the outer layers of the steps are crumbling and the little stones in the concrete are falling out; literally being eaten by the flourishing moss.

I have since learned that makers of new, old-fashioned garden urns, etc. let moss grown on them to get the mottled "old" look.

Jackie in Seattle

Jeremy in Brooklyn said...

After 45 years, it's possible the concrete would have begun to deteriorate even without the moss having been left on it, especially in a damp climate. I suppose the moss may accelerate the deterioration by keeping the concrete damp; maybe there are other reasons it hastens deterioration. But concrete exposed to the elements will deteriorate on its own.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy in Brooklyn: Yes, its possible, BUT, in this case my steps have only deteriorated where the moss is growing. Only some of the steps are as old as the 1905 house. the rest were put in in the 1950's. Where the moss is, there are now actual crumbling holes as if some concrete-eating critter has been munching. The tops of the steps where there is no moss, are undamaged after 105 years, except for a little foot wear.

I suggest this also: moss only grows where it can feed, including roofs where it lives off the shingles.
My clue, some years ago, was a program on PBS about an old garden restoration. It showed new pottery and statues being made and how they were letting moss grow on them, for a while, to get an ancient look. At the time, I looked up this moss-eating process on-line and I forget the details, but its valid.

Jackie in Seattle