Saturday, March 5, 2011


I have alluded to my graduate research in past posts, but have not fully disclosed my thesis. I have reached the point where I am finalizing my research proposal and felt it was time to enlighten you all - I know you have been at the edge of your seat!

I am developing curation methods for living collections of bryophytes in public gardens. So for those of you who do not work as museum curators, I plan on creating new ways to manage mosses in gardens. It goes beyond how to just keep it alive (which is a challenge in itself) and focuses on: acquiring, identifying, accessioning, installing, mapping, labeling and maintaining...all rolled up into one neat little manual with a small lesson in the biology, ecology and physiology of moss - yikes!

Obviously this work is quite specific to a certain group: public garden curators and plant recorders. But I am a big-picture kind of girl; I don't intend to "preach the good word" about moss to just curators. I hope this translates through the garden staff out to the garden visitors who see the moss on display.

Dicranum scoparium tufts in a Leucobryum glaucum landscape

I want to convert the general public to seeing moss in a beautiful, new light. They might not be able to go to their local garden center and pick up a sheet of Polytrichum commune, but they could try to cultivate whatever moss is already growing in their perennial beds.

Its a simple dream to of mine to have people include mosses in their plant palettes. Or at least think twice before eradicating it from their rooftops or spraying it with herbicides in their lawns (which will only make it grow faster! - but that's another post)

So for those garden enthusiasts out there, ask your local garden when they will be creating an exhibit on mosses! And all you public garden curators out there, if you don't hear from me soon, consider incorporating bryophytes into your collection today!