Schenk, author of three other horticultural books, points out that traces of moss have been found in 400-million-year-old fossils. There are 15,000 living moss species, 1,200 of them in North America. Schenk defines the varieties of moss plants and follows with chapters on moss gardens in Japan (a garden in Kyoto was designed in the fourteenth century) and on gardens in Europe and North America. There are chapters on mossy rocks, moss carpets, alpine gardens, growing moss in containers, and the use of moss as ground covers beneath bonsai trees. Schenk lists approximatety 60 plants alphabetically by genus, with advice on propagating, cultivating, and transplanting. Includes 97 color photographs. George Cohen
"Read [this book] if you want to gain a healthy respect for and excitement about mosses."
—Joel M. Lerner, Washington Post
, February 17, 2001 (The Washington Post
"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
, February 1, 2000 (Seattle Times
"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 beautry 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
, January/February 1998 (Fine Gardening