Garden Mushrooms

From the time I was an imaginative child immersed in my experience of the world as a magical place, I have been attracted to mushrooms. My love of Alice in Wonderland, though I didn’t understand the references at that time, endeared me even more to the mystical mushroom. I love their taste and unusual textures, their mind-altering potential, the danger of their potency and the hidden mystery of the way they grow.

Fairy Mushrooms

Fairy Mushrooms

When I became a home owner 16 years ago, I was enthralled with the first mushrooms I found popping up in the late winter. As I was crawling around on the ground, weeding the yard for the first time, I unexpectedly came across a patch of mushrooms. As with everything that I saw for the first time in my new garden, I was excited, exhilarated and ran for the camera and my family to document it.

It felt like I had stumbled upon a secret fairy garden. This hidden world that is not usually visible to the human eye was revealing itself to me. I felt honored to be privy to this secret place, my heart opened and accepted the privilege, and the responsibility, of caring for their well being.

 

The Mighty Mushroom_pr

The Mighty Mushroom

As the years have passed and the property has become richer in its effervescent life there have been more and more mushrooms popping up.  I realized recently that I have seen a wonderful variety of mushrooms all around the yard. Sometimes they are large, and other times they are tiny, and usually in between.

Mushrooms are a wonderful indication of the health of the soil. Plants and trees rely on the reproductive function of fungi to enliven the soil they live in. There are even soil amendments that are made from composted mushrooms.

button-head-mushroom

button-head-mushroom

round-head-mush

round-head-mush

mushroom

mushroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of this is interesting and valuable for the avid gardener like myself. Ultimately, though, my infatuation is more of an emotional one than a practical one. I don’t trust my knowledge of mushrooms well enough to actually identify them and eat them from the garden or the wild.

popping up

popping up

mushroom heads

mushroom heads

stems revealed

stems revealed

standing tall

standing tall

 

As you can see here, they happily grow in composting wood chips. In a happy garden, though, anywhere is just fine. When they appear, I know that the garden is becoming more alive.

 

 

spring-shroom

spring-shroom

upright-mushroom

upright-mushroom

top-view

top-view

 

 

Each one is unique. Their beauty is out of this world.

 

 

 

mystery-mushrooms

mystery-mushrooms

Garden Mushrooms

Garden Mushrooms

fairy grove

fairy grove

How can I not run for the camera and then observe them in awe.

mushroom forest

mushroom forest

forest canopy

forest canopy

 

 

 

 

 

Striped-black-and-white

Striped-black-and-white

delicate-black-and-white

delicate-black-and-white

black and-white-trio

black and-white-trio

striped-duo

striped-duo

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know their scientific names, but it doesn’t matter. They speak to me in other ways. Every time a mushroom reveals itself in my garden, I am fed deeply in a place inside that is touched,

wooly mane, inky cap

wooly mane, inky cap

 

somehow,

wooly mane

wooly mane

 

 

wooly mane closeup

wooly mane closeup

 

by the truly wondrous world of nature.