Category Archives: fungi

Autumn colour

 Let’s start off with the weather again!  October had lots of rain, and so has the beginning of November.  I have had to move a lot of the cuttings, that were on the patio table, indoors to the conservatory as they were water-logged and had no chance of getting drier.  Other plants are sheltering under the table and under the bench (with a cover over the bench seat).

The Japanese anemones are still looking good, and so is the salvia Amastad.  A couple of the hellebores are doing well while other hellebores are struggling to get going.  The cyclamen flowers are over but their foliage  looks amazing and creates a lovely patterned carpet along the garage border.

purple salvia amistad, pink rowan berries
Salvia Amistad and Rowan Pink pagoda


Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Garnet’ is putting on a fabulous show by changing it’s deep purpley/green foliage into bright red before losing it all.  I tried to get a photo from inside the dome of the small tree.

under the acer showing red leaves
Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum Garnet’


 The view from the top of the ramp shows the continuation of the red theme in autumn, going from the persicaria amplex ‘Blackfield’ down to the acer then across to the deep pink berries of the rowan.  If I had taken the photo from inside the conservatory I may have also got the indoor red cyclamen and a  few of the red weigela ‘Bristol Ruby’ flowers too.

dark red colours in the garden flowers and foliage
view from the top of the ramp


The earth-star fungi apparently pops up anywhere in the garden.  It starts off looking like a bulb that someone has forgotten to plant, then it opens up to form a star shape with a little puffy ball in the centre.  When it rains, the rain drops are heavy enough to dent the ball sending the spores out to start the cycle again.  This looks like the collared earth star Geastrum triplex.

collared earthsar fungi
Earth star fungi (Geastrum triplex)


I am attempting to plant the awkward area at the far corner behind the garage.  The ivy was a mess there so now there is a Hydrangea anomala  petiolaris in it’s place, and in front of that, a Farfugium
japonicum ‘wavy gravy’.  In amongst them Debs planted some yellow erythronium that she brought round.   We also spotted some pink flowered persicaria that had popped up beside the deep red one, so we removed that and planted it next to the periwinkle.  That should all fill that corner nicely.

corner with tatty old ivy
corner with tatty old ivy

corner with farfugium and hydrangea
corner with farfugium and climbing hydrangea

 I will finish with a gloriously coloured, fallen leaf from the witch hazel, Hamamelis
inter Diane.

colourful leaf from Hamamelis inter Diane
Hamamelis inter Diane leaf


July: the good, the bad and the strange.

As always we must start by mentioning the weather.  We started with the sunshine and warmth, then the torrential rain and thunder, and now back to sunshine and warmth.  These photographs were taken before the rain except the philadlephus, it was looking fabulous, as were the roses, until the rain pelted down taking most of the petals with it.  Some of the roses were just a soggy mess and had to chopped as they would have just rotted instead of opening.  Some of the old trellis was still up, but Harry has taken it all down now and it make s a big difference.  The neighbours’ and golf course’ trees all blend into our ivy clad walls now.

By the pond I spotted a couple of damselflies and the blue tailed one came into the conservatory.  I am afraid the photos are not great (taken at speed with my phone camera).

blue tailed damselfly on the conservatory wall
Ischnura elegans (blue tailed damselfly)

The large red damselfly was just flitting about on the leaves of the marsh marigold.

large red damselfly sitting on a marsh marigold leaf
Pyrrhosoma nymphula (large red damselfly)

The surface of the pond is mostly covered with floating duckweed and pond pants but I try to keep an area clear so the sun can get through to the oxygenating plants below.  The area covered by floating plants has also been covered by hundreds of semaphore flies.  The males flash their wings, which have a white tips, to entice a female and this resembles semaphore signals.  They have gorgeous bronze and mellatic green colourations.

semaphore fly on garden pond
Poecilobothrus nobiltatus (semaphore fly)

Also in the pond are some very fast water crickets.  I think these are the nymphs as the adults have red line down the abdomen.  They have white markings that to me look like a face.  They flit about on the water surface of the pond.

water cricket nymph skitting about the surface of the pond
Velia caprai (water cricket)

A new fungus has appeared this year.  At first I though it was another puff ball or earth ball but as it grew – it changed shape.  I think this is a stinkhorn.  The cap is covered in something called a gleba which contains the spores.  It emits a smell that attracts flies which then get covered in the spores.It disappeared as quickly as it appeared.

stinkhorn mushroom, fungi,
Phallus impudicus (stinkhorn mushroom)

Now just a few snapshots of the garden before the rain just taken at different angles.

foxgloves by the curling stone
beds in July 2021
beds in July 2021
beds in July 2021
beds in July 2021

The yellow irises did well out in the front garden.  I don’t actually know the name of them, mum was splitting hers so she gave me some.

tall yellow iris in the front garden
Yellow iris front garden

And after the rain I am afraid the nepeta was flattened, the roses all drooped and lost a lot of petals, lots of the foxgloves keeled over with the weight of the rain, and the poor philadelphus that was just looking and smelling gorgeous lost lots of petals too.

philadelphus loosing it's petals after the rain
Philadelphus losing it’s petals after the rain

Once the rest of the foxgloves go over I will have some bare areas to put some new plants in.  They are waiting in their pots on the patio until then.

Our dog had his first dip in the pond this week (by accident) and he didn’t think much of it, so he then had a zoomie around the garden then dug 3 holes!  Also, a neighbours cat fell into the pond this morning.  I was watering the plants on the patio when I hear a big plop and splash.  I looked up and saw  a very wet, bedraggled, black and white cat slinking off down the garden.

The forecast for the next few days is lots of sunshine a high temperatures so that will mean I have lots more watering to do.

And, back to being cold again…

oh this fickle weather.  You just never know when you can put the thermals away.
I spotted the common morels again this year but a metre or so over from where they last appeared.  It is always lovely to see fungi in the garden.  I often go around the garden looking for slugs and it is a great opportunity to find unexpected things popping up in the garden.  I noticed also that the ragged robin hasn’t appeared yet so I don’t know if it has died, along with the blue poppies and the bronze fennel.
While I was on the patio I spotted a pigeon, just sitting having a wee soak in the pond, he then started splashing about having a real bath.  I took a pic from upstairs of some of the back garden.  I am finding it more difficult as the years go by to push over the grass, especially when it has been raining, so we will be getting more slabbing put down in June sometime.  I don’t want to have a lot of slabbing but it will make gardening easier and a lot less messy.  At the moment, every time I come in from the  garden, I have to get a stiff scrubbing brush on my wheelchair tyres, and also an old towel, to get most of the dirt from my tyre treads before going into the house proper.   The new slabs won’t prevent me getting pigeon poo in my tyre treads though, and it can be very tricky trying to dodge them.  The grass is also very uneven and some of the slabs we put down years ago have actually sunk as they were only put down onto sand.

plants, fungi,
Morchella esculenta (common morel)
plants, fungi,
Morchella esculenta (common morel)
pigeon, birds,
Pigeon in the pond
May 2019

Fabulous fungi…

I have been finding more and more fungi in the garden over the years with all the garden renovations and new plants being added.  I am no expert so I can’t identify them properly but I have had a go by researching on the internet and buying a good book.  When we brought the logs in to the garden we didn’t know the tree varieties and some fungi are tree specific so I have just had to have a guess. This first one was on a log we found just behind the wall of the garden and we put it in front of the patio where we were planting some ferns.  It is some kind of large bracket fungus and it was there for ages until something started taking nibbles out of it.  It never came back. The next one is an Earth star (Geastrum) but I am not sure if it is a collared one or not.  Next there is coral fungi but I am not sure if it is Ramaria stricta or maybe flaccida.  I even found some brilliant yellow fungi (Leucocoprimus birnbaumii) at the base of my Beaucarnea recurvata (pony tail plant or elephant foot) in the conservatory.  On the mossy logs in the stumpery I found some common bonnet or clustered bonnet and they are so pretty. Also near the stumpery were a couple of common morels (Morchella esculent) but I didn’t try and eat these as I was unsure. I have a cherry tree planted in a half barrel on the patio with moss growing in places on the barrel and a few tiny orange fungi popped up which might be Rickenella fibula.  In among the borders I found a very strange looking dark grey fungus and I think it might be  Elfin saddle (Helvella lacunosa).  There have been other fungi but they don’t hang around for long and I have missed a few by thinking I did’t have time to take a photo that day and that I would do it the following day only to find they had disappeared.  I do hope they come back.

large bracket fungus
large bracket fungus
Geastrum  (triplex?)
Ramaria (stricta?)
Leucocoprimus birnbaumii
Mycena (galericulata or inclinata?)
Myceana ?
Morchela esculenta
Rickenella fibula?
Helvella lacunosa