British Gardening forum: sphagnum moss growing in Ireland

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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Oct 11, 2012 9:07 AM CST
I don't know how these colors occurred. This part of Ireland is completely peat and thus very acidic. In fact, during our drives on the back roads, I saw hundereds of piles of peat "bricks" that are used for heating in this part of Ireland.

I just have to send you a few more pics, if I can find it. All the trees, stones, and grounds around the Ballynahinch Castle were covered in green, and I assumed it was just a heavy layer of lichens growing on them. The climate there stays cool and wet all year long. When we took a guided, three-hour nature tour of the grounds, the guide told me this was all sphagnum moss, not lichens. Gosh, I use bales and bales of sphagnum moss for my tropicals, and buy New Zealand sphagnum. I have seen it growing naturally in S. Mississippi but never have seen it literally growing on everything.

Ken

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drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
The House on the Hill Gardens
Roses Butterflies Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Peonies
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Shannon
Oct 11, 2012 9:17 AM CST
Beautiful. I want to go to Ireland one day . I have been told we still have relitives there but, with the
name O'Reilly they might be kinda hard to pick out Rolling on the floor laughing

I'm 1/2 Irish & 1/2 Polish My soon to be step-daughter is studing in Poland she was granted her Polish citizenship and she sends Beautiful pictures and gets me great Polish stoneware & Christmas ornaments Lovey dubby
The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~Arabian Proverb
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Oct 11, 2012 10:11 AM CST
MaryE, I don't know why it grew in that one spot near the Alabama Gulf coast and that is the only place I have ever seen it grow densely in the south. Sphagnum is NOT supposed to grow in hot areas and our summer highs often reach into the 100's. When I lived on the MS Gulf coast, I visited nurseries and high-end garden centers, and one of the owers of a garden center just over the Alabama border told me about this sphagnum spot. I drove to this "bog" area several times with spade/rake in hand and brought home this live sphagnum moss for my use. This was thirty years ago and our hurricans wiped his business out many, many years ago. One day I might just venture back to this area and see if the sphagum still grows there.

Shannon, I hope you can make that Ireland trip one day. It is one of the most beautiful, and yes, wild areas I have ever seen. When you go, be sure to take the "back" roads, those not even shown on your map. You will see amazing areas and truly the history of Ireland. Now driving on the "wrong" side of the road is interesting and the roads are tiny compared to ours, but one gets used to that after a day or two. What sort of plants do you have interest in?

Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
The House on the Hill Gardens
Roses Butterflies Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Peonies
Sedums Hostas Cottage Gardener Echinacea Clematis Irises
Image
Shannon
Oct 11, 2012 10:26 AM CST
LOL My BF was in Denholme , England for a few months. We were supposed to move there But,
he is to sick with his back and could not handle the damp weather. So our great company work for
fired him Angry Paul said it was weird driving on the wrong side Blinking and said my Suburban
would Never fit..

I LOVE the pictures of the Hydrangeas one of my favorites Lovey dubby I have about 12 or so to dig up for
our move to RI. I also have Iris , Daylilies and Roses I can say these four are my Favorites. But, I
do like most perennials Whistling
The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~Arabian Proverb
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Oct 11, 2012 12:27 PM CST
Good luck with your move to R.I. I am a southerner - born, reared, and hopefully will die here. I took a chance and married a wonderful gal who was born and reared in California. We celebrated our 40th anniversary in February so it looks like the the chance I took worked out well. I treated myself by spending my 69th BD in Ireland with wife, family and friends.

My expertise, if you can call it that, is with topical plants, but only a dozen or so species. I retired two years ago at the age of 67 (I had hoped to work until 70, but my hands went bad and a dentist with bad hands has no reason treating patients!). Since I have always had a knack growing plants, and an interest in exotic tropical plants, I decided to start a (tiny) cottage business that I have named "Tropical Plants & More". Previously I simply gave away or threw away excess plants, but I thought selling them made more sense. I built a web site last fall, not knowing what in the heck I was doing, and haven't touched the site since. My site is more educational than an actual business site, and I can't even sell anything from the site itself. I need to have someone develop this for me but have been lazy doing so. I can get around the computer pretty well but know little about the brass and tacks of site development or other web sites to market my plants. I literally sell one plant at a time and am about to ship out a fiddleleaf ficus and a plumeria (two different buyers). I can only ship when the temp. is above 40 F, so my shipping days are drawing to a close until spring get here. Check out [url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url] when you have time.

Ken Ramsey, Certified Mississippi Master Gardener
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: United Kingdom
Ferns Native Plants and Wildflowers Seed Starter Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters The WITWIT Badge
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NEILMUIR1
Oct 20, 2012 11:39 AM CST

Moderator

You should all try Scotland for sphagnum moss and the most beautiful scenery in the world! Plus the whisky of course!
Regards.
Neil.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Oct 20, 2012 8:22 PM CST
Hi Ken - You mentioned "bales and bales" of sphag. moss which I assume translate to many times, of many kinds, and seen and heard everything of it? Was wondering if you could tell me the differences of the "varieties" (?) of sphg. moss. I know there is Spanish Moss which is different and the ground covering damp moss which people use in landscape. I would like to know of the moss that people utilize for florist neeeds. I use my moss in vertical succulent frames and have found that not all packaged moss is created equal. What differences have you noticed or experienced and how do you utilize sphagnum moss in your tropicals?

Bev
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Oct 21, 2012 9:44 AM CST
Hi, Bev. I am not too sure that there is much difference in sphagnum mosses collected from different locations around the world. Some people swear by Canadian, some like to purchase their moss from Scotland, and some get theirs from the far east (E.g. Malaysia). I generally chose to purchase sphagnum moss from New Zealand, since is has always been the type I like to use, specifically long-fibered sphagnum. I think my moss would be labeled "extra-long fibered" sphagnum. Some of the sphagnum found in big-box stores, such as Lowe's, has been chopped up and the fibers are not very long. The longer the fiber the easier it is to wrap or form wads with. I use my sphagnum moss as backing when mounting staghorn ferns, tillandsias, bromeliads and orchids. Often, when I want to put a potted orchid in a large hanging basket, I will surround the pot with sphagnum moss to keep the pot from tipping over. It is also esthetic. I have found that as the orchid's roots grow out of the pot, they love to grow into the sphagnum moss surrounding the pot. Also, when I ship bare-rooted plants, I always place moistened sphagnum in the bag with the root ball and seal the bag. The sphagnum keeps the roots moist without adding much weight. The last bale I ordered was a 12 cf bale and with shipping, it cost me approximately $55.

I actually grow Spanish moss here in NE Mississippi and use it to drap various mounted plants. It is a live plant and is an air-plant similar to the tillandsia. It is nothing like sphagnum moss. If you wrap the base of a plant with Spanish moss, the moss will quickly die and the fibers are so tough that the plant pups and roots cannot easily grow through it. Therefore I don't use it for backing or wraping plants. Even dead sphagnum is light and airy, and plant pups and roots can grown through it easily.

Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Oct 21, 2012 2:26 PM CST
Ken, thank you much for the information and sharing such interesting information on how you use Sphag.moss. Now I know what to look for and can be more discriminating about what to buy though don't think I use that much to contemplate ordering from New Zealand...but I can always ask you for info regarding your supplier in NZ if I need it? Last question: Was the 55 spent on your last 12Cf of moss more of the cost of moss or the shipping?

regards,
Bev
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Oct 21, 2012 4:14 PM CST
Bev, if I am not mistaken, the large, 11 lb bale was bought off of Amazon and was shipped from somewhere in the US, not New Zealand. Even then, I think 2/3 of the cost was moss and 1/3 shipping. If a site does not state country-of-origin, I contact the seller to see where the moss (and other materials as well) came from. I have never run across a seller that would not divulge where his product came from. Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Oct 21, 2012 4:24 PM CST
Had the privilege of spending eight days in Ireland some time back. Agree that the small back roads are wonderful. I refused to drive, but, luckily, one of us LIKED driving on the other side, so most of it was left to her. Smiling

Shannon, the Suburban would definitely never fit. Hilarious!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Oct 21, 2012 4:37 PM CST
So Ken, just knowing the desired origin of the Sphag. moss is indicative of the kind of moss you will be getting (the prized xtra long-fiber kind)? I am hopeful as I am an Amazon shopper and did not know that one can find dependable quality moss on there for sale (i know the right shoes can be gotten but the right moss?). Gee, I think I will window shop right now.. nodding .
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Oct 21, 2012 4:44 PM CST
Hilarious!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Oct 21, 2012 5:10 PM CST
Debra, noticed you are in TX area. Ever heard of anything about Yucca Do Nursery ? I have been looking at aloe and agave and thinking of ordering from there but don't know anything about them.They are not on list of ATP recommendation of nurseries...
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Oct 21, 2012 5:43 PM CST
Bev, only vaguely familiar with the name. I'm sorry I couldn't be helpful
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Image
webesemps
Oct 21, 2012 5:48 PM CST
thanks!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Oct 21, 2012 7:03 PM CST
Oh, I wish you lived close. I have dozens of Aloe vera plants, some in 4" pots, some that probably weigh 25 lbs. It just grows like a weed for me but I don't even bother to try to sell it any longer. Too much trouble for so little price. I could not possible ship the large plants. Simply too heavy. Ken in Mississippi

Thumb of 2012-10-22/drdawg/31523c
The pic was taken of plants over a year ago and the number and size have not changed.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Image
webesemps
Oct 21, 2012 9:28 PM CST
Ken, thanks for the thoughts. The picture looks like the Aloes are kept under some sort of control, yes? With "downsizing" being the order of the day, I have been checking up on only certain plant specimens that fit the size requirement. I'm talking inches and not feet. Doesn't leave too many choices but makes the decision easier when I do find those that fit the requirement. I am curious to look at Amazon to see what they have by way of S.moss.
Regards,
Bev
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: United Kingdom
Ferns Native Plants and Wildflowers Seed Starter Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters The WITWIT Badge
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NEILMUIR1
Oct 22, 2012 2:55 AM CST

Moderator

Dear Ken, there is a claimed 350 species of sphagnum moss in the world covering the northern hemisphere and some in the southern hemisphere! But beware for sphagnum moss can potentially harbour the fungi causing the chronic disease sporotrichosis. Sporothrix schenckii spores enter the skin via abrasions, scratches, and small puncture wounds as a result of unprotected contact exposure to Sphagnum moss.
Most peat is produced and purchased in the UK is from Irish sphagnum moss and has a low pH. That is why i use it for my insectivorous/carnivorous plants as the Uk and Ireland has insectivorous plants and some are native and endemic only to our shores!
The biggest amount of sphagnum is in Scotland in the flow country which is a vast area on the west coast of sphagnum moss! i use Scottish sphagnum for my insectivorous plants and especially Drosera's.
New Zealand sphagnum is indeed very good for certain things, and Argentina amongst other south American countries also has it, although I have never seen it!
Regards.
Neil.
p.s. Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is an air plant. Spanish moss is an epiphyte which absorbs nutrients (especially calcium) and water from the air and rainfall and grows on oak tress normally!
[Last edited by NEILMUIR1 - Oct 22, 2012 2:59 AM (+)]
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Oct 22, 2012 5:15 PM CST
Good information to have, Neil. Thank you. Smiling
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'

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