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Moss Gardening: Including Lichens, Liverworts, and Other Miniatures

By George Schenk

For those of us who see beauty in a moss carpet or a lichen-covered rock, here, finally, is a book worthy of a place on the gardening shelf.

Fine Gardening

A delightful book that encourages gardeners to pay closer attention to the subtle beauty of miniature landscapes and introduces one of the glories of Japanese gardens into American designs. The author writes entertainingly of mosses on rocks and walls, in containers, and as a lush ground cover, and he presents a gallery of his favorite moss species.

Awards for this book: American Horticultural Society Book Award, Garden Writers Association of America Award of Excellence

Media reviews

"Read [this book] if you want to gain a healthy respect for and excitement about mosses."

—Joel M. Lerner, Washington Post

"The book's best feature is its stunning close-up photography. High-quality color photographs by the author and others lovingly bring these tiny plants into view. These modest plants are anything but humble when seen close-up. For those of us who see beauty in a moss carpet or a lichen-covered rock, here, finally, is a book worthy of a place on the gardening shelf."

—Jim Bennett, Fine Gardening

"This, another of his classics, is for anyone who has contemplated making lemonade from lemons, or a moss garden from a failed, shady lawn."

—Diane Heilenman, Gannett News Service

"Lovely photos and good information."

—Norie Burnet, Woodland Garden

"George Schenk's beautiful book is perhaps the first to cover the whole gamut of moss gardening. Moss Gardening is sure to become a classic, not only because it covers 'almost as much about the mechanics of moss gardening as the Kama Sutra does about dancing,' but also for the author's entertaining writing style."


"An exciting read for anyone with an appreciation for the sensuous qualities of moss."

—Cynthia Cushing, Western Living

"One of the best books on mosses ever written."

—Peter Loewer, Wild Gardener

"If you are struggling with moss in your lawn and trying to decide which way to go, grass or moss, read this book. It teaches you how to propagate, cultivate, and transplant mosses. Whether you’re a botanist or amateur this book is a pleasurable and witty read."

—Naomi Buckman, Conway Daily Sun

"This delightful and entertaining book would surely help to convert a few traditional moss-haters to the Chosen Way."


"“It is the most clearly written book on mosses that I have run across. There is a chapter on growing moss in containers, but, even better a chapter devoted to moss for Bonsai!! Oh, happy day! I have found information on this subject to be scarce, but here it is covered in detail. Mention is made of the Pacific Rim Collection and comments by David De Grott. A very nice book which, in my opinion, is the most detailed discussion of moss, written for the layman, to be found anywhere. Check it out."

—Gary Bolstridge, Rhode Island Bonsai Society

"Moss Gardening, Including Lichens, Liverworts, and Other Miniatures helps to sort out the often confusing differences between these wonderful plants and offers fresh perspectives to garden design with the use of these ancient plants."

—Anne Kivari, Into the Garden

"Schenk’s style is highly informative yet deeply relaxing to read ... Timber Press has created a beautiful glossy-paged book which truly enhances the writing and photographs."

—Madeleine Wilde, Kirkland Courier

"Lavishly illustrated with full color photos and entertainingly written—a beautifully designed quality hardcover typical of the outstanding books published by Timber Press."

—Charles Sutton, Vermont Country Sampler

"Schenk has a gift of gab as great his gift of vision. He introduces his subjects enticingly, then starts to get technical. ... Indeed, there is much more here than any one of us would suspect possible. The photographs, too, are amazingly varied, considering they are all of moss. ... Schenk’s book will open our eyes and instruct our fingers. His own dirt-stained hands are his offered proof of his right to write this book—and a most convincing one."

—Ann Lovejoy, Seattle Times

"Passionate and authoritative."

—Irene Virag, Newsday

"The last word on the subject."

—Fran Gustman, Allston-Brighton Tab

"Many a frustrated lawn-grower could find this book a turning point."

—Diane Heilenman, Louisville Courier-Journal

"Moss Gardening is probably the most user-friendly resource out there for the home gardener ... Almost 100 color photos will surely inspire any novice and experienced moss gardener."

—George Graine, Virginia Master Gardeners Association Report

"Lays out practical information on some of the common mosses and nonmosses ... The book's high-quality photographs may inspire area gardeners to look again at these versatile, unobtrusive plants."

—Lynn Remly, Northern Virginia Journal

"This delightful book opens our eyes to mosses and other miniature plants in gardens ... Many excellent color photographs inspire the reader to try growing these miniatures or to examine them more carefully ... This book ... recieved an American Horticulture Award."

—Kennith A. Wilson, Fiddlehead Forum

"A very enjoyable and informative book to read."

Charlottesville Daily Progress

"Moss Gardening by George Schenk will inspire you to change that damp strange corner of you garden/lawn frame nuisance to a small offbeat, but charming spot."

—Marilis Hornidge, Rockland Courier-Gazette

"We think it will be difficult to top the broad coverage, detailed advice based on personal experiences, and delightful humor to be found in abundance in Moss Gardening. Bravo, George Schenk!"


"With its exceptional photographs and poetically written text, simply a beautiful book."

Northeastern Naturalist

"This book is a delight to read."

—Dilys Davis, Hardy Plant

"The main problem that I have when I come upon a good book dealing with plants that I didn’t know previously in detail, is that I am tempted to grow such plants. That's exactly what happened when I read this book on mosses, lichens, liverworts and other miniature plants."

—Lucio Russo, Cactus and Co.

"The author's passionate prose and exquisite photography make this a surprisingly good read."

—Don Burns, San Mateo County Times

"It is not often that a book comes along — and in particular a gardening book– that turns over contentedly underground attitudes and stimulates an about-face. ... Is not only heartfelt and witty but informative and well-written, I haven’t wanted to miss much."

—Christopher Andreae, Christian Science Monitor

About the author

George Schenk

A former nurseryman and landscaper, George Schenk retired from business to pursue his passions of designing and planting gardens and writing about them. His Moss Gardening won the Garden Writers Association Award for Excellence; his The Complete Shade Gardener has been recognized as one of the 75 Great American Garden Books. He lives in Washington state.

Read more about George Schenk

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