Moss is regarded as a viable alternative to using floral foam, but in funeral work this is often difficult to achieve. Using moss and chicken wire is time consuming so therefore more expensive and there are some designs such as name tributes where it is impossible to produce what is asked for without resorting to foam.
Mossed funeral work will however create a more natural, woodland style tribute, albeit still based on a foam frame. The benefits are that there is no place here for poly ribbon and as there are bio-degradable foam bases available to buy from wholesalers, florists can at least offer a green as possible alternative.
Tips when using moss
If stored in a chiller, keep it damp but not too wet by spraying regularly.
If it dries out, it can be rehydrated by dunking in water.
Wear gloves if you are squeamish and check for bugs – particularly in sphagnum moss.
Use green covered wires as these will not rust.
Need some inspiration? Here are three moss-based designs from the Interflora collection.
Moss has been pinned on to a foam base with a foam ‘bump’ for the spray. The callas have been carefully curled and then pinned into place with wire.
This design can be mossed in advance if needed. If storing in a chiller, lightly cover the tribute to stop the lilies from marking.
This should preferably be made on a bio-degradable base which will encourage the plants to root so this could be a long-lasting tribute.
Make holes large enough to ‘plant’ the succulents, they can be carefully secured by wires if needed. Use trails of ivy and fern to discreetly hide any mechanics.
Succulent Heart Wreath
Create this beautiful heart by again using succulents, but this time in the form of Kalanchoes. Sturdy and long-lasting, they are an excellent choice of flowering plant for designs such as this.
Types of moss
Sphagnum, also known as peat moss or bog moss has a multitude of uses, not all horticultural. Due to its absorbent and acidic properties it was used for treating wounds during the First World War. Once it has dried out and broken down, it becomes peat.
Flat moss (Plagiothecium)
Found in habitats worldwide, including Antarctica, flat moss can not only be used for funeral work and in textural designs, but can also be rolled and bound with wire to create moss spheres.
Bun moss (Leucobryum)
Bun moss grows in erect, dense, rounded cushions with its colour varying from white to a bluish green. The depth of colour depends on its moisture content. Large quantities of bun moss can be used to create pathways though installations, it is a popular feature in Japanese gardens.
Reindeer moss (Cladonia)
A soft, easy to handle moss from the Arctic and Northern regions. It can be used in both fresh and dried designs and, if handled carefully can be reused many times. Unlike other mosses, it doesn’t appreciate being over wet.