Guest Author - D. J. Herda
Whenever you build a pond—whether raised or sunken—you’re going to have a lot of disguising to do. You know, in those places where the liner shows and you wish it didn’t...or where you’ve placed a rock or two and they stand out like the proverbial throbbing thumb. It's then that you know you have some additional work to do disguising the bad spots.
One of the best ways to cover up both the bare spots and your “mistakes” is by using moss balls. Take a wad of Spanish moss (available at garden centers and hobby and craft shops) and wrap it around a handful of soil. Use enough moss to prevent the soil from falling out.
Place the ball wherever you want to hide something, and plant it with baby tears, which is an amazingly fast-growing and resilient ground cover. Just open up a small section at the top of the moss ball, insert the plant's roots inside, and squeeze the ball shut around the roots.
With the moss ball in place, the baby tears will begin spreading within a few weeks, moving out from the moss to spread across other areas of the wall or bank, as well. It’s a quick, easy, and natural-looking fix for nearly any spot that needs help around the pond!
For a quick and easy way to make vertical walls look more appealing, try concocting a moss cocktail.
In a blender, combine 1 cup buttermilk with 1 can stale beer (let the beer sit open overnight). Then add one small container of live moss (honest to God), such as Scottish or Irish moss, available at most nursery centers.
Turn the blender on and blend until the moss is finely chopped. Empty the mix into a container and, using a paintbrush, paint it onto those surfaces where you’d like to see moss grow. Make sure the surfaces are damp and that they’re kept damp during the moss’s lifetime.
The moss roots will burrow into the stone, brick, wood, or other porous surface and take hold there, sending up a thick matt of fresh moss, usually within a few weeks, depending upon growing conditions. In time, your newly crafted wall will look as if it’s been there for centuries!