This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Very beautiful baskets for holding flowers may be made of the longer and more feathery kinds of mosses. We have made them often; and never do flowers, whether wild or garden, look more lovely than when clustered within a verdent border of that most delicate and beautiful material, which by proper management may be made to preserve its freshness and brilliancy for many months. We will here give a recipe for their manufacture. A light frame of any shape you like should be made with wire and covered with common paste-hoard or calico, and the moss, which should first be well picked over and cleansed from any bits of dirt or dead leaves which may be hanging about it, gathered into little tufts, and sewed with a coarse needle and thread to the covering, so as to clothe it thickly with a close and compact coating, taking care that the points of the moss are all outwards. A long handle made in the same manner should be attached to the basket, and a tin, or other vessel, filled with either wet sand or water, placed within to hold the flowers.
By dipping the whole fabric into water once in three or four days, its verdure and elasticity will be fully preserved, and a block of wood about an inch thick, and stained black or green, if placed under the basket, will prevent all risk of damage to the table from the moisture. To make such baskets affords much pleasant social amusement for children, who will find a constantly renewing pleasure in varying their appearance. One week, Snowdrops and Crocuses will cluster among the mossy edges; then will come groups of " dancing Daffodils" and Hazel catkins, which, mixed with Ivy leaves, make almost the prettiest dressing that can be found for it. In another week or two Anemones, Hyacinths and Jonquils will crave admittance into the place of honor; and long before the basket is decayed Roses, Lilies, Jasmine, and even Carnations, will have sprung into beauty, and had their day in the favorite moss basket. - CasselVs Popular Educator.