Moss Gardening, Including Lichens, Liverworts, and other Miniatures by George Schenk, c 1997, 261 pages
A lifetime of following mosses around the globe is shared in this book filled with glossy full color pictures. It has won the American Horticultural Society Book Award, and it’s easy to see why.
This is not a field guide, although it could certainly serve as a companion book to help with identification. It’s not a gardening how-to, although there are certainly plenty of tips included about starting, keeping, and maintaining a moss garden. It’s not an art/coffee table book, although it is filled with gorgeous photographs. The book is really a bit of all the above, and makes enjoyable reading on top of all that!
After setting out some definitions, Schenk takes the reader on a world tour of the best moss gardens he’s found in a lifetime of searching. Some are large public gardens, others are private collections. In every case, the gardens are fascinating. They are beautiful both in wide views, and as close-ups. After all, gardening with small plants is always about looking closely!
He talks about containers, bonsai, collecting mosses, alpine plants, liverworts, and troubleshooting. He also lists potential sources for purchasing plants.
But this is mostly a book for someone who wants to see and hear the poetry and music in the moss. He writes with love for the curious, the cute, and the colorful. I received it as a Christmas gift, and it certainly made me want to go start collecting mosses with the first warm weather!