“Nature alone is antique and the oldest art a mushroom.” – Thomas Carlyle
I’m dedicating this blog post to the fungi in the garden as ’tis the season where the fungi are perhaps the most interesting thing blooming. I recently took a photographic journey around the Gaiety Hollow and Deepwood gardens. LSC volunteer gardener, Jay Raney, contributed some wonderful photographs of mushrooms at Bush’s Pasture Park.
I wish I knew how to identify more mushrooms as they are a great food source if you know which varieties are edible! Mushrooms provide Vitamin D which is beneficial for the immune system and mental health.
Agaricus xanthodermus is a common find in the Gaiety Hollow garden. Armillaria or honey fungus are not a welcome site as they can be a deadly pathogen to trees. Agaricus xanthodermus in Gaiety Hollow’s Evergreen Garden, a good thing that indicates a healthy soil biota. A. xanthodermus produces massive fruiting bodies that are unfortunately inedible. Armillaria growing on a stump.
Research shows that many mushrooms have medicinal properties. Oregon recently approved research into Psilocybine mushrooms for treating depression and other disorders. If you haven’t seen the documentary Fantastic Fungi, I strongly recommend it. It includes fascinating information from Paul Stamets, the legendary mushroom guru, as well as incredible nature art.
A big thanks to Diana Reeck, a local member of the Mushroom Society who visited Gaiety Hollow this fall. Diana helped me identify some of the mushrooms we have growing in the garden.
This time of year it’s exciting to see a new mushroom popping up in the garden. It reminds us that even though many plants have gone dormant for the winter, so much life is still happening beneath the soil.