David Benner and Al Benner, founders of Moss Acres.
When my dad (retired Professor of Ornamental Horticulture and "moss guru" David Benner, co-founder of Moss Acres) established his first moss garden, it was because he decided to let nature take control."
A mix of fern moss and spring flowers provides an enchanting, almost storybook garden setting.
The making of Moss Acres
has been gardening with moss since the early 1960s, beginning with the wooded areas around his
home in New Hope, PA, which since has become an incredible lush moss garden of much renown with no grass lawn for more than 40 years, "and it just keeps getting more beautiful," notes David
"We've had over 7,000 visitors on personal guided hours over the past 30 years."
The two-acre Benner garden can be seen in a video called "Made in the Shade," which he
The video and his
booklet "Gardening with Moss" are both available through the company's website ( www.mossacres.com).
Utilized in Japanese gardens for centuries these extraordinary plants have been sorely neglected in Europe and the U.S. until recent years, according to David Benner
, who achieved his
dream of a maintenance-free shade garden - and a whole new livelihood besides, with moss.
"Moss guru" David Benner
uses reusable mesh moss netting to protect newly transplanted moss from birds and small critters that like to dig.
The netting, he
says, can also be used as a ground cover "cover" in the fall, eliminating the need for raking.