A few weeks back I published the Earth Kind quiz. I talked about how I only scored a “good” (or 3 frogs) on the quiz and that one of the reasons for my abysmally low score was that I didn’t mulch.
At the time I joked that perhaps I should have said that yes, I do mulch because I allow moss and native ferns to cover my soil. This is just one area of my garden where it is doing so successfully.
This is a raised bed (if you can imagine such a thing, we have a 1,000 gallon in ground oil tank under here!) with a dogwood and a Japanese maple planted in front and rhododendrons nearer the house. We inherited this from the original owner of the house.
Over time, rather than planting this with annuals, as I used to do, I have started filling in with perennials and the few bulbs that will tolerate the clay. There are hellebores down in front, hostas under the trees and the few evergreens that you can see in the photo. That wispy green evergreen is supposed to be a gold thread hinoki cypress. It’s not gold in all the shade. We keep it because the birds love the evergreen cover.
But clearly nature abhors a vacuum so she has begun to fill this in with moss and I am delighted. Even last summer, when we only had 4″ of rain between June and August does not seem to have affected the mossy ground cover.
And then the ferns fill in as well–so thickly that I can’t really walk under here, which is great until I need to weed. Here are some photos of them just coming in.
There are two types that fill in. My photos here are mostly of the lady fern. The other fern, the sensitive fern, hasn’t really begun to show up yet.
Here you can get a great idea of how many of them there will be in the moss.
A closer view of some of the fiddleheads.
These ferns are at the edge of the Japanese maple–near the walkway. About the only place they don’t grow is right under the maple itself. It’s too heavily shaded.
Finally these ferns are at the edge of our walkway. They even come up between the slate slabs. It’s really amazing. And yet Earth Kind would prefer I mulch over all of this? I think not, thanks so much!