Monday, May 16, 2011

Sphagnum Nurseries

Ever wonder where Laurence gets those plugs of sphagnum moss  for the restoration process? it's impossible to buy them in any garden store.  All the sphagnum in the restored bog comes from the nearby forest, but the forest is on former bog.

When the city installed drains, the water table was lowered and the bog was almost swallowed up by hemlock forest.
This forest is rooted precariously in peat, making the trees bob to and fro during a windstorm, like a forest of weeble wobbles, knocking down power lines in Dunbar.  Jump on the forest floor and it will feel like a mattress.  the ground visibly shakes around you.

Under this forest lies layers of peat, 5 metres deep.  Here and there, sphagnum patches poke through the forest floor,  living remnants of the original Camosun bog.  Laurence calls these places sphagnum nurseries and he harvests them carefully so they regenerate again: