Monday, September 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Mossy view

This looks like moss to me, with its funky little spore capsules poking up, enjoying the dampness of a recent weekend in the Wissahickon. The air was raw, the path muddy, nothing in bloom but plenty to see. Up close, this was lots of fun, and pretty interesting to think such a lovely green mat has no real roots. It just needs shade - plenty of that in the Wissahickon, an acid soil and moisture, of which we had beaucoup recently. It's pretty carefree, a popular element in rock gardens and shade gardens and in woodland arrangements. Most gardens are tranquil places (unless you were visiting mine this summer!) but a moss garden is truly a soothing experience. Moss is very soft underfoot - it cries out for bare feet! It's also a buffer for sound and harsh thoughts. No way was I going to get up on this slippery log, but made me feel better just running my hands over this knobby patch.

Mossy view

Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)
Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)

This looks like moss to me, with its funky little spore capsules poking up, enjoying the dampness of a recent weekend in the Wissahickon. The air was raw, the path muddy, nothing in bloom but plenty to see. Up close, this was lots of fun, and pretty interesting to think such a lovely green mat has no real roots. It just needs shade - plenty of that in the Wissahickon, an acid soil and moisture, of which we had beaucoup recently. It's pretty carefree, a popular element in rock gardens and shade gardens and in woodland arrangements. Most gardens are tranquil places (unless you were visiting mine this summer!) but a moss garden is truly a soothing experience. Moss is very soft underfoot - it cries out for bare feet! It's also a buffer for sound and harsh thoughts. No way was I going to get up on this slippery log, but made me feel better just running my hands over this knobby patch. 

About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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