Monday, October 31, 2005

Mossing the wreaths

I have begun to moss up the wreath rings that I shall be using for dried flower wreaths and (as happens each year) I agonise over the ethics of the moss. We may have mossy lawns but we don't have enough to scarify out on a commercial scale - and anyway to moss a wreath quickly I need long strands, not short stumpy bits with soil attached. I could get Scottish sphagnum moss from the flower market but there are major concerns about how it is collected as, within Scotland, it is not a renewable resource. I have looked at a number of artificial alternatives - but they are either too strident a colour, or won't hold onto enough water or are too dense to attach wiring to.
I have decided therefore to use a New Zealand sphagnum moss. The moss grows in the swamps of the west coast of South Island - there the annual rainfall is about 180 inches and this is ideal for growing sphagnum moss. The swamps are government owned and they are managed by the Department of Conservation. The conditions are so ideal that each area of swamp can be harvested on a 3-4 year cycle. The downside is, of course, the transport involved. So it is not ideal, but then again the bales are shipped, rather than airfreighted and as such, better than kiwi-fruit and apples.

The photographs (sorry about the left hand one!) show a plain hop ring - 14" diameter - cost £14.00

No comments: