As a lot of people will tell you, growing green things is both a bit of an art and a science, and for some, it's just not a skill they are blessed with. Perhaps the existence of these so-called "brownthumbs" would explain the popularity of gardening apps, indoor gardening gizmos and smart gardening sensors.
Well, for those who want to have their living wall without any maintenance or water use at all, there are these charming moss artworks by Californian company Artisan Moss. Real moss and ferns, sustainably harvested from farms and ranches, are preserved using non-toxic food-grade ingredients, and arranged onto frames made out of reclaimed hardwoods. Since they are preserved, the plants do not wilt, do not require water, nor do they put out pollen or spores. The result is an ever-green artwork -- a "plant painting" -- that looks stunning and requires no maintenance whatsoever.
Erin Kinsey, a landscape designer, began working with plants over a decade ago, but found that she was drawn to interior living walls in particular. She tells us the story behind these lovely, carefree walls:
I'll never forget the first time I saw a vertical living wall. I knew I wanted to design vertically and couldn't stop thinking about them. I immediately began studying, building and experimenting. I quickly learned their limitations. I wanted to create something more accessible to everyone and practical. And knowing how versatile moss is I began a long study of preservation. Meanwhile there is a particular kind of bush native to our region and can be invasive here in California that I so admire, Manzanita. It's very beautiful. My very first piece was a combination of drought tolerant living plants, preserved mosses and Manzanita. It failed miserably. So now several years later, after a lot of hard work and experimenting I can deliver a piece to anyone in the world to enjoy nature and it's effortless for them.
We love the compositions of some of these works, which can have a branch criss-crossing the space to give a visual anchor, giving perhaps the same experience as when one strolls through a forest, and seeing an interesting shape or collective texture.
Artisan Moss uses a variety of branches that are regionally sourced; recently, they salvaged some from local fire-safe zones in the Sierra Foothills to use in their pieces.
The company says their preservation and assembly process is a trade secret, but they told us that they are committed to sustainability and healthy indoor environments (the company is a member-sponsor of the International Living Future Institute). So far, they've had their pieces shipped to many places in the world -- Australia being one popular destination -- and they also do custom installations for commercial and institutional spaces.
We all know that getting reconnected back to nature is important for human well-being, yet, for many of us it's not always possible, due to time, location or motivation. Artworks like these could be the bridge, the bit of nature that can momentarily nourish you during a busy day. More over at Artisan Moss.