Earlier this year I was happily tasked with the opportunity to help my younger sister with her wedding and reception. After a jaunty walk through the coastal rain forest awash with moss and mushrooms, the wedding nuptials took place on a beach south of Manzanita. The intimate reception later that evening was a spectacle in candle light and miniature succulents ensconced in moss. Earlier that week, as I was organizing the flower arrangements and finding that must-have reindeer moss in a spectacular chartreuse hue for the mini succulents, I started wondering why moss is currently so popular. It's not new either, it's been gong on 3 years now, that a perfectly appropriate centerpiece item can be found wedged behind my recycling bin. So what is the appeal? The color is stunning and fresh, but just as much so as the popular wheat grass craze preceding our present day moss obsession.
There's no doubt, that the wheat grass centerpiece of yesterday would be today's mossy terrarium showstopper, in all it's unruly glory!
That is where I suspect the fascination lies, mosses can grow most everywhere and under myriad conditions, without much human intervention. The sight of moss acknowledges the presence of a certain level of water and of sun, a satisfaction of knowing that nature is in balance. Moss grows in sidewalk cracks, up stream banks, on our patios - the clingy green plants visually masquerading as a luxurious natural carpet. The idea of the well manicured wheat grass centerpiece being overtaken by a "wild" ground cover is not a stretch when taken in context with today's Gen Y couple.
In response to years of economic slump, today's younger demographic embraces a mentality of inventiveness, resourcefulness and perseverance - the calling card of the humble moss terrarium. As described by Micahel Cannell's April 2011 article for the New York Times entitled Design Well Within Reach, "...whereas modernism represented an ideal of frugality for lean times, the "undecorate" movement offers a kind of populist authenticity in opposition to the polished trappings of a design establishment. The “democratization of design” has been a fashionable phrase for years. It may finally have arrived."
It will be interesting to see what will usurp the mossy terrarium centerpiece in the next few years, but it is clear that whatever nature delivers, it is certainly a mirror to society's cultural mood. As for me, I would be content if it remains near my recycling bin and not in it, worm bin glass urns anyone?