“Green Velvet”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana
Even though we have been having several flowers showing up extra early, there still is a general lack of color in the garden. There are a few plants just starting to leaf out, bud, or show some tiny bit of color even though it is just the end of January. But, one bright spot is the vibrant green moss that while small, still packs a punch of color. Nothing can beat that bright green piece of velvet found in deep shade.
Moss, that low-growing, mat forming plant that is at home in shade gardens, requires shade, moisture, and is often found growing on rocks which is why they are so popular in rock gardens. Lately, moss has been found as a desirable alternative to a lawn in shady, moist areas. In fact, moss gardens are now on the cutting edge of gardening, and have been very popular in Japanese gardening for centuries.
Many people who love their lawns are horrified when they find moss in their lawns. This usually means there is high acidity, moisture, and shade in that area. There are many things that can be done to rectify this, but an alternative is to make a shady, moist area a moss garden. Work with Mother Nature, not against her. As we all become more environmentally aware, we need to think about choices we have that may require less chemicals, less work, and more enjoyment of our gardens.
While I just appreciate the pop of color the mosses bring in late winter, for some absolutely fantastic photos of moss used effectively in a garden, look here. It is time we re-evaluate this lowly plant.