Midwinter moss watching

The shortest day is just behind us and the weather in Amsterdam is mild, dark and misty.  I’m looking forward to longer, brighter days.
It’s pleasant to reflect on life and be able to forage at this muddy time of year.  I’m foraging a little when the urge strikes me but not much. The plants really need a rest and I do too.

Mosses, liverworts and lichens are catching my attention these days, far more than anything else. Some are edible (in theory) and many have a multitude of uses. For me, they represent calm; deep, earthy, cool, calm  I’m enjoying looking at them a lot. Sometimes through a magnifying lens, or through a camera but mostly just by getting up close, tuning into these ancient simple plants, looking closely at how they do things and smelling the air around them. And don’t they just smell great!

I’ve developed such a love of these green beings that I am planning space for them in my garden, rather than herbs.  I’ve also been making moss gardens in old bonsai pots. My next workshop will be about kokedame (moss balls with plants growing in them). It’s a quietening phase.

Here’s a lichen, with wonderful spore trumpets, growing crustily on an old cherry tree in Frankendael. Such a pretty life form. I could study it all day!

If you also share this love of small green simple plants, I’d be delighted to hear how you celebrate them.


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