Most households are familiar with a classic preened lawn as the main feature of their outside space but is there a more ecological alternative to this outdated custom?
Lawns were introduced by the French Monarchy in the late 16th century as a symbol of wealth. Only the rich were able to afford the hire of the many hands needed to tend to the grass, so a lawn was a mark of wealth and status. The Japanese, however, honed an alternative way of embellishing their gardens by using moss!
Moss lawns have been a mainstream feature of Japanese gardens for hundreds of years and now research has shown that it could be a very effective way to save our planet. So, what are the ecological benefits of a moss lawn?
• It’s effortless! Moss requires zero maintenance such as fertilizing (negating these chemical treatments will make your lawn safer and more ecologically beneficial) or weeding as it prefers low nutrient soil that very few other plants enjoy.
• Moss is non-vascular which means it never grows tall enough to need mowing. Not only will this save you a lot of man hours but it will also reduce the amount of carbon being emitted by lawn mowers. One hour of lawn mowing with a two-stroke engine mower emits the same amount of pollution as running 40 new cars for a whole hour!
• 12 square meters of moss lawn can absorb as much carbon as 275 mature trees, so if you’re not blessed enough to live amongst an orchard then just a small patch of this stuff could help you do your bit.
• Wildlife will worship your mossy lawn. Many insects thrive in the environment that moss provides, which in turn supplies valuable food resources for numerous other animals such as birds, amphibians and reptiles.
• Rain that isn’t soaked up by soil will run into drainage systems, but often they carry with them harmful pollutants such as pesticides, bacteria and even substances such as petrol. Moss can survive in these conditions, unlike any other plant, and also works as an aid to slow down runoff water drainage.
So, if you want to save time, save money and save the earth, then choose moss as your garden boss.