While perusing pictures of guerilla gardening the other day, I stumbled across something that sparked my attention: moss art. Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock, but I had never heard of such a thing before, and it was intriguing. It was stunningly beautiful, and the fact that it is living makes it even better.
Essentially, moss art is created using, well, moss. Moss is easy to grow, but it’s getting it into the correct shape that was puzzling at first. Essentially, you must first create a moss “paint” and for a few weeks afterwards ensuring that it roots, grows, and thrives. This guide on Stencil Revolution explains exactly how to plan, create, and even remove moss art.
The guide, contributed by “Beef,” explains first the importance of choosing a good spot for your art. Moss needs a surface that gets both shade and sunlight, has lots of access to water, and is porous enough for roots to attach. Once you’ve decided where your art will go, he recommends stenciling out the image using chalk so that it will look polished and artistic.
The recipe for the moss paint, which can be found in the original guide, includes buttermilk, sugar, water, and (duh) moss. All the ingredients are blended together to create a paint-like liquid, which can be thickened with corn syrup if it is too drippy. It is generally painted onto the surface using a simple paintbrush, though it is also possible to spray it on. Any excess paint is to be stored in the fridge, as it will be used for upkeep later on.
The next step is waiting and tending to the moss art. It should be watered every other day, the guide advises, and in between days new coats of moss paint should be applied. It is important that the area stay moist. Eventually, the moss should take root and grow, creating a beautiful, living artwork.
Remember that guerilla gardening can be considered graffiti or vandalism if done so without prior permission. If the surface you want to work on is a public or private space, be sure to acquire permission before creating your art there. After you have it, knock yourself out creating a piece that will stop people in their tracks.