Native mosses, ferns, and grasses

From emerald carpet to amber wave: serene plants for the garden

By , Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

William Cullina brings both enthusiasm and expertise to his book, “Native Ferns, Moss and Grasses” (Houghton Mifflin, 256 pp., $40). While it's indisputably a reference work, the writing style is friendly and down-to-earth.

Mr. Cullina’s fascination with these plants, his appreciation for their longevity and adaptability – coupled with a curious, scientific mind – make for great reading.

The gorgeous color photographs, most taken by the author himself, are further inducement to bring more of these elegant plants into one’s garden.

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Of special note is a section on global warming and how it could affect the range and hardiness of plant species. Cullina combines data to predict what the plant hardiness zones may look like in the year 2075.

With the warmer temperatures, Cullina projects that his region of southern New England, mostly considered Zone 5 (with average winter lows of minus 10 degrees F to minus 20 degrees F) will end up in Zone 8, with temperatures that feel more like present-day Atlanta.

Note: For an interview with William Cullina about growing mosses in the home garden, see Grow moss – on purpose

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