Winter’s bouquet

It might take half an hour or more to get my younger kids dressed and ready to go for a walk in the woods behind our house.  But the hour spent walking and exploring, this day in search of clubmoss, is worth it.  There’s no fighting, no arguing, and very little whining.  And in case you’re thinking I’m a little bit weird to devote an entire post to clubmoss, you’re right.  It’s so interesting though, and so pretty!

Links:  Bea’s sweater, Silas’ sweater, amazing yellow buttons, Field Guide to Ferns, Clubmosses: an ancient and interesting group of fern allies.

(And a reader reminded me that I should add that it’s important not to pick too much.  We have very large patches of clubmoss throughout our woods, so a couple small baskets full doesn’t make an impact on the population.)


  1. My brother-in-law (perhaps incorrectly) calls that princess pine. He said it was protected in NY. We have it all over our forest in the backyard. I plucked two sprigs for the swag I made for our front door. Along with a bit of juniper. I should show you a picture…. it’s so simple, just tied with a bit of paper ribbon. But beautiful non the less.
    These pictures are so lovely…. the red sweater is magic!

  2. Wow! Club moss! It’s beautiful! And your photos are magical! I always learn a thing or two when I visit here. Thank you!

  3. That looks so pretty! I miss greenery (there’s mostly none in CA). Can we talk about how precious Silas’ hair is? I love it. I’m jealous. Also, Bea in her red hooded coat is adorable (she’s adorable anyway). Does Larkspur’s coat come in my size? I’ll have to check!

  4. What a truly lovely way to bring the outside inside!

  5. These photos are stunning. I love clubmoss in a seriously nerdy way too. The handknits on your littles are just beautiful. Is that the sweater pattern from Phoebe’s Sweater? I’ve been meaning to brave that one for a while now, this may been the final straw in putting it to the top of my list!

  6. It’s winter here and everything is covered in snow, but our forest never has such beautiful moss as this!! It looks so magical. I’m captivated by it all. Thank you.

  7. What a nice bit of color to add to the house this time of year. It’s such a nice reminder that winter won’t last forever!

  8. Beautiful pictures!

  9. So beautiful- I really felt my soul stir with these photos: the little not-quite-the-baby boy, the eldest of the youngest kids and Little Red Riding Hood..

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Ginny,
    I so enjoy my visits here. Thank you for all that you share.

    Lately I’ve only brought Bracken outside for short bits of time. We could use some good outdoor time, you’ve reminded me. It really does work magic.


    P.S. We appreciate you linking to us!

  11. I grew up calling this princess pine here in NY. We used to use it for Christmas wreaths. It has gotten pretty scarce around here, so we don’t pick it anymore. Your picture brought back good memories of my best friend and I at around 10 or 11 gathering princess pine for her mom . My friends parents sold tree and wreaths at Christmas time ,to he make ends meet.

  12. i remember those days…and no sooner do you get the hats, mitts, boots, coats on everyone….then someone has to go to the bathroom!!!

  13. It takes me just as much time to get my littles ready to go for a ski on the fields behind our house, but once we all get out there, it is SO worth it. This lovely post speaks volumes to me, thank you. I can’t believe I have never heard of Clubmoss, what an enchanting find! Such a wonderful mother you are, Ginny.

  14. We call this Princess Pine in Wisconsin. They make beautiful Christmas wreaths!

  15. Cassandra Elaine says:

    I’ve noticed big swaths of this piny fern-ish plant while hiking but didn’t know what it was called. There is something appealing about it. Glad to give it a name.

  16. and now I will look for it in my woods 🙂 beautiful photos and isn’t it nice to bring the outside inside (without the bugs!!).

    Stunning knit wear in the photos 🙂

  17. Mellisa LaLonde says:

    Ohhhh those lips on baby Silas! What a precious little bean! ( I was always a sucker for smoochie lips on my babies!) I feel your pain on the 1/2 hour to get everyone dressed, but OHHHHHH the payoff to be outside in the fresh air…it refuels the soul and makes it all so worth it. I remember those days!!!…and they pass way too quickly! Blessings to you today!

  18. sob. we are in S. California. no moss here…. (but thanks for the photos- I’ll live vicariously through them….)

  19. In those winter woods Bea’s sweater makes her look like she’s part of a fairy tale. It’s writing itself in my head as I type….”Once there was a pretty girl who went to look for moss in the woods in the magical red sweater her mother made for her….”

  20. As soon as our snow melts, we’ll be on the lookout for clubmoss. I can’t recall having seen it here in Manitoba before – but will ask a friend who is a local plant expert.

    Beautiful photos!

  21. How very beautiful!

  22. A friend of mine taught me how to make wreaths and garlands with clubmoss or Lycopodium when I was a child. I happily did this until I hit college and learned about Lycopodium in a natural history course. Lycopodium has a 20 year life cycle – this is a long time to reproduce and sustain a population. So it is very important to protect these plants and carefully harvest them. One site I found gives this idea: “Clip mature stems near ground level rather than ripping or tearing them up (this protects rhizomes). Harvest no more than 25 percent of a plant’s “greens” in a season, and then give the area a few years to regenerate before you return.” That sounds like a great way to continue to enjoy those beautiful plants at home with a clear conscious!

    • Thanks, Missy! I added a note to my post. I’m not sure if it’s true for all species of clubmoss, but those that we were picking also reproduce via underground runners. We thankfully have a very healthy population in our woods (and this is actually the first time we have ever picked them), but doing more reading, I see that some species of clubmoss are considered threatened or endangered in some areas.

  23. Love your pictures! Is that Larkspur’s old red coat? I have always loved that one. It makes me think of Little Red Riding Hood.

  24. It’s beautiful! What a wonderful way to freshen the stale winter days in the house!

  25. These pictures look like y’all are in an enchanting forest…so pretty!

  26. Your photos are simply breathtakingly beautiful!!!

  27. I wish I could identify different kinds of wild plants. My kids and I recently collected some moss and fern from the woods and made a terrarium out of an old fish bowl – so fun.

  28. We have a “bouquet” of club moss right now too!! I didn’t know what it was called though!

  29. Getting out the door is the hardest part, isn’t it? No matter what kind of day we’re having, getting outside makes it better. How do I forget this!

  30. Now I will know what it is next time! Maybe. Beautiful pics!

  31. It is very worthwhile. What a great mom you are…teaching and preparing them for life. Kudos to you.

    And I like your pictures, too.

  32. I was going to say that clubmoss looks a lot like what we call “running cedar.” A quick Google search proved that they are the same thing! Anyway, we have lots of it growing down by our creek, and I’ve always thought it was so pretty. It’s nice to have some bright green amongst the grayness of the trees. 🙂

  33. Looks like a magical day for the kids and mom.

  34. We just did this same thing yesterday. 🙂 The snow melted enough to actually see the ground, so we went woods-walking and collecting. It was cold, but fun. 🙂

  35. Such great photos, as always. Silas looks like Little Lord Fauntleroy in his double breasted sweater and boot tucked pants. What a doll!

    We live on a ravine with a creek but I don’t think I’ve ever seen clubmoss. Maybe we are a little too far north in Ohio?

  36. This is a seriously beautiful post. The pictures are magnificent.

  37. Not weird at all. I think Clubmoss is beautiful. Now I will be on the look out for it. Beautiful pictures of your kids having fun and exploring.

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