Mosses, the Unsung Green Jewel of Gardens

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A Presentation by Rodney Holcomb

Mosses are often an understated and underused plant that some may even consider a nuisance plant in their lawn. They are low, flowerless plants that form dense green clumps or mounds and do well in damp and shady conditions. Transylvania County therefore can be an ideal location for them to thrive. Rodney Holcomb will talk about moss botany, the benefits of moss in your landscape, and then dig into the specifics of planting and maintaining moss beds and lawns. The talk is sponsored by the Extension Master Gardener℠ Program of Transylvania County and is part of the monthly program of talks and demonstrations that will interest Master Gardeners, amateur gardeners, and the public at large.

Rodney has studied mosses and their uses under the direction of Mossin’ Annie Martin. As a Master Gardener, he has worked extensively with several other Master Garden “Mossettes” to rejuvenate the Mossin’ Annie-designed moss garden at the Silvermont Shade Garden in Brevard.

During his talk, Rodney will show photos of mosses and how they can be beautifully incorporated into your landscape. Additionally, he will be bringing samples of several moss species to display and clever moss planting and maintenance tools and equipment.

Rodney was born and for the most part, raised in Waycross in southeast Georgia. Living in the South and briefly, in Ohio and West Virginia, he embraced his parent’s love of nature. He began gardening in earnest in 1990, in the sunbaked clay soils of Dallas, TX where he focused on growing native grasses, perennials, shrubs, and trees.

His professional career was largely focused on HIV/AIDS. He was a founding member of AIDS Arms, Inc., in 1986, which later became one of the leading AIDS Service Organizations in Texas and the Southwest. He served at the organization for 16 years and spent his last 5 years as the Executive Director before joining Merck Pharmaceuticals. At Merck, he held several different positions in Sales, Training, and various Marketing roles in HIV, Women’s Health, and Oncology. He retired in 2017 and moved to Brevard in 2019 just days after his son graduated high school outside of Philadelphia, PA. Rodney has been with his spouse Eric for 35 years and they both share a love of gardening, nature, and the outdoors.

The talk is sponsored by the Master Gardener℠ Volunteers of Transylvania County and will be on Tuesday, November 15th, from 10 to 11.00 a.m. and will be held in the Community Services Conference Room at 106 E. Morgan St. in Brevard. For regular attendees please note that this is the 3rd Tuesday of the month. All are welcome to attend and encouraged to bring samples of mosses and any related questions. There is no charge. Light refreshments will be served starting at 9.30 a.m. Telephone 828-884-3109 for any questions.

Rodney in the Moss Garden