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water diversion

September 15, 2012

This is yet another post about the trials and tribulations of moss cultivation. Yes, I am obsessed. Cultivating moss takes a lot of time and dedication as discussed previously here. You have to be serious about this shit. Now that I am back to work, I have less time to tend to it in the same way and make sure that it’s receiving all the moisture it needs. The moss maternity leave has ended, these babies are on their own now.

Our eavestroughs were in desperate need of replacement. I can climb a 6′ ladder, but anything higher than that my knees wobble and my knuckles turn white. This is a bit of a problem when your house is three stories high. I’m debating hypnotism – it would come in handy for a few of my other issues as well! I wonder if they have package deals?

Snap fingers. Aaaaand, we’re back.

We hired some professionals. They were amazing. If you are in the Toronto area and need any type of metal work [siding, eavestroughs] look up Canadian Cupola. They get major props from me. They installed new eaves on the entire house and resided the 3rd floor. With our brand new, commercial-size downspout I began to think that it might be a good idea to make a little dry river, or stream if you will, to direct the water toward the moss. Labour Day morning, with the coffee only half consumed we got to work. Taskmaster, what what!

commercial downspout

morning coffee in a handmade mug

This is the coffee…no, really. Only handmade mugs in this house!

the river channel

I started by digging a little trough for the stream bed.

making the river channel

Okay so I’m still in my pajamas. Please don’t judge.

tarp lining

In order for the water to actually make it down the stream to the moss I thought that it might be a good idea to line the stream with a tarp. Otherwise, I think that all of the water would have been absorbed in advance, thereby totally defeating the purpose.

cutting the tarp

tarp cutting

We just happened to have an extra tarp lying around so we trimmed it to fit and then we started to spread the rocks that we picked up on a recent trip up to Prince Edward County [hopefully they don’t miss them] When I say we spread the rocks, I mean I, because my gorgeous partner in crime was busy documenting the whole process which is why the photos are so much better than usual!

collected rocks

spreading the rocks

hipsta river

river bed

river to moss

complete river

We need to make another trip to get a few more rocks but it’s pretty much complete.
It’s a great plan [I think]. Now we are just hoping for rain.


farting diamond inspiration

September 7, 2012

When I think back to the day when everything fell apart and I lost all sense of right and wrong, I attribute it to this:

the big 2

I was inspired by the greatness of this giant number two. I thought that I could make something in its likeness, but alas, I could not. My little farting diamond pales in comparison to this ginormous blast. If you see this in the background on TV for all of 2 seconds you will know why it was created but I am happy to say that it will now be enjoyed in its new home for many hours to come.

alberta waterproof plywood

necessary tools

I used fence post spikes and created a structure to mount the plywood to.


I then flew over to our neighbourhood HD and spoke with a friendly associate who recommended this product to seal the wood. I did read the instructions and they did say that it was NOT recommended for already painted surfaces but I went ahead and used it anyway. I chose it for lack of time and a better option 1) it was the only product that I could find that was actually clear and 2) it was easy water clean up even though it is some kind of oil based product [I still can’t wrap my head around these things]. I am also a sucker for anything that uses the words Maximum Strength, Premium Waterproofer and Plus all in one sentence! It worked great on the back side of the plywood that was unpainted but left a tacky, oily feel on the front side. I am still going with the theory that something is better than nothing.

water seal

water sealing

sneak peak

graffiti screen

Two good to be true – yeah, dork style! That’s how we roll!

hands on

September 1, 2012
tags: , ,

I love this video and these words of wisdom –

“It is a tragedy of the first magnitude that millions of people have ceased to use their hands as hands. Nature has bestowed upon us this great gift which is our hands. If the craze for machinery methods continues, it is highly likely that a time will come when we shall be so incapacitated and weak that we shall begin to curse ourselves for having forgotten the use of the living machines given to us by God.”
Mahatma Gandhi

The Birth Of A Tool. Part I. Axe Making (by John Neeman) from John Neeman Tools on Vimeo.

stay-at-home moss mom

August 9, 2012

I have become moss obsessed. I research it, look at pictures of it, and memorize all the different kinds of it. I now know that moss loves to be misted rather than showered. It grows best on acidic soil. It doesn’t mind sun but prefers shady areas. It can survive long periods of drought once it is established even though it doesn’t have a vascular system or roots. Moss is basically the superhero of the plant world.

We have a large spruce in our front yard and nothing grows under it. Seems to me that this is the perfect location for a moss garden. So, I consulted one of my best friends,The Internet, and I found a place called Moss Acres that would mail me a box full of my new obsession.

moss in a box

There are four different kinds of moss that came in the box, haircap moss, rock cap moss, hypnum moss and cushion moss. They are all totally dried out and therefore weigh next to nothing – great for shipping costs.

moss preparation

It was important to clear the area and prepare it properly. I cleaned away everything to get down to the bare soil. If your soil isn’t acidic enough you can add wettable sulphur.


Before I started laying the moss I wet the entire area and then spread a powder called Hortasorb. It is a water retention and bonding gel that just gives the newly transplanted moss a little extra help while it is getting used to its new home. Then I used a bucket full of rainwater and dunked each piece for about 10 seconds before placing it firmly under the tree. I also bought box of Moss Milkshake. It’s a milk carton full of ground up moss mixed with buttermilk and Hortasorb. All you do is sprinkle it around and add water. That is what I used to fill in the areas that weren’t covered yet. Moss takes a long time to grow so hopefully by next summer we will be able to see it fill in a little more.

cushion moss

I baby my moss. I water it twice a day. I check on it constantly for greenness, making sure it doesn’t dry out too much. I am off to buy a new Hudson sprayer so that I can mist it properly. I might even break down and buy a special misting system that hooks on to your hose. My friend just referred to me as a stay-at-home moss mom which I found to be fairly accurate and hilarious. Aren’t they cute? I know that you aren’t supposed to have favourites but I think that I like this little cushion moss the best.

haircap, rock cap, cushion and hypnum moss

moss under tree

I totally love our new moss garden. It makes me happy. They say that kids are a lot of work, but they’re worth it.

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