Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Sally and I have spent this afternoon wiring sphagnum moss onto copper wreath rings - a bit of a soggy job which leaves you with wrinkly fingers. Sally suggested that I should be telling people about the moss on the wreaths, the issues that I considered when chosing it, and why it differs from other florist's moss.
I did blog about this subject last year but as that is buried 200 entries ago it is probably worth revisiting.
Moss is a great problem for florists - when the general public want some moss, they head out into the garden or wood, pull some up and use that - while this may be fine for individuals it is not at all sustainable on a large scale. Some irreputable florists do take moss from the wild - and every year there are media stories about the denuding of national parks - but most buy it in. It is very difficult to find out exactly where the moss comes from - my local florist supplier could not tell me.
The best form of moss for creating good wreath bases is sphagnum moss - it has nice long strands which make it easy to bind, and it has a good water retention which keeps the greenery fresh - this would be great except that it takes ages and ages to grow and in the UK is a finite resource a bit like peat.
Which is why . . .I buy my moss from New Zealand . . . which seems daft . . . but is because it is the only place where sphagnum moss grows so well that it can be grown as a crop in specially designated reserves managed by the New Zealand government . . .and it is transported dried by boat . . . .so it is a lot more environmentally friendly than kiwi fruit. . . .
But it is still a compromise and I wish that some of my experiments with old felt underlay or sheep's wool (it was discarded as it stank of wet sheep ) had been successful.

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