We can't think of a better way to welcome spring than with a walk through a brilliantly green moss garden. Outside Japan, the best place to get an up-close look is in the lush Northwest, where several beloved public gardens have moss collections. Head out now, after rain has left the gardens fresh-scrubbed and ready for guests.
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA
Bloedel Reserve. 10-4 Wed-Sun (call for reservations); $10; Bloedel Reserve (206/842-7631)
Seattle Japanese Garden in Washington Park Arboretum. 10-6 Tue-Sun; $5; Seattle Parks and Recreation (206/684-4725)
Nitobe Memorial Garden at the University of British Columbia. 10-2:30 Mon-Fri through Mar 15, then 10-6 daily; $4; Nitobe Memorial Garden (604/822-9666)