The Moss Library
Updated: Jun 27
COVID 19 has impacted the entire world and it has tested our resilience and shown us our flaws. It has also demonstrated to us that nature can rebound if we let it. So, I decided to create a moss garden in my backyard to symbolize the resilience of nature and our unique connection to it during my time in quarantine.
The 5'x10' garden is a mix of 12 different moss types and lives underneath my stairs off the back deck. It's a work in progress and I am delighted to have it as part of my quarantine routine during this very uncertain time.
I'm calling it a library because I want it to at least symbolically represent a communal space where we grow together. By following along here or on my social media, you can be connected to this communal space made of soft and squishy clumps of moss.
There have been so many positive interactions with people from all over the world because of this project so far. People are connecting with it and sharing their own experiences in quarantine. The Moss Library has even had some more 'branches' open up in different parts of S.Ontario.
Here's a few insights about this fascinating organism:
Mosses are a group of plants that belong to the division Bryophyta. They can survive in different habitats but prefer shady areas like forests. There are around 12,000 species of moss that can be found throughout the world and many right here in S.Ontario.
Did you know that mosses were the first plants that managed to survive on solid ground? They evolved from algae millions of years ago.*
As caretaker of this magical place, I'm learning about what moss likes to thrive AND learning how to thrive myself under this new reality.
Each week, I'll be adding a new chapter to the story of the Moss Library on this blog and my social media. Follow the garden's development, learn about moss, and enjoy the art I create along the way.
I hope that you feel inspired by my work in some way.
1. Forest Fascinator - click here for the full story and video.
So how can I create a self-portrait that's truly unique, fashionable, and amazing without buying anything? You'll find out!
2. Cowgirl Boots - click here for the full story and video
These boots were abandoned on a farm many years ago and I came across them during the pandemic. Nature is reclaiming them as her own.
3. The Moss Lady - click here for the full story and video
I found this sweet stump on my daily social distance walk. The Library was missing a certain something and it was this. The stump that looks like lady legs. <3
People are connecting online and more branches are popping up all over the place as people create their own connections with nature and share their stories with me. I opened my second branch and now we have several more!
So far we have branches in Toronto, Guelph, Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, and Collingwood.
I've been offering virtual photoshoots during my time in quarantine. Since I can't actually go and photograph anyone in person right now, this seemed like a great new way of keeping myself going.
I've done so many creative setups for people but the fan favorite is to pose in the Moss Library.
Thanks to Christine from @BuzzTourCo for letting me share this wonderful image of her posing in the moss.
6. Put a Plant on it! - Click here for the full story and video.
I inherited this old Kodak and it is completely broken. Makes a sweet jingle sound when you shake it, lovely.
So, I jammed dirt all up in that lens and took these shots. It was a good afternoon of creativity. I found another spot for my moss. AND I realized two things...
Moss Library Features:
ABOUT J.LYON (She/Her) J.Lyon, also known as Jennifer Lyon, is an award-winning Ontario-based visual artist.
Jennifer's primary work is as a professional portrait and commercial photographer operating in southern Ontario. She offers a broad range of unique services, including commercial branding, product photography, and portraiture, with studio locations in K-W and Collingwood.
Jennifer considers herself an Eco Artist, beautifully blending natural materials and textures and always advocating for the environment. Jennifer employs a range of mediums in her work as an artist, including, landscape architecture, sculpture, carving, and fashion and is available for commissions. You can also search for her previous work on her blog.
Some extra moss insights:
Even though mosses can adapt to various ecosystems, they are negatively affected by pollution and changes in the environment that are a result of increased human activity.
It seems fitting that the library is flourishing right now. Although this human (me) directed her activities towards forming it, perhaps it (moss) is favoring these new conditions? That the air is clearer now that all the humans are stuck inside? *
* Info from iNaturalist.ca