Panaeolus Foenisecii, Toxicodendron Radicans, and Rosa Madame A. Meilland

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It appears as if my main role in the garden this summer will be removing mushrooms from the containers. This week I removed about 200 mushrooms (and I’m actually not exaggerating) from my various planters/pots/containers. Some of them pop up just after the rain, but sometimes I’ll just go out there when it’s been dry and there will be a big batch of them hiding under a plant, like they instantly popped up.

It’s kinda gross. But also a bit fascinating. The mushrooms are a nuisance, for sure, but I’m really tempted to seek out a guide and identify and catalog them all (carefully), if there is such a thing as identifying pest mushrooms in the garden. There are so many different kinds and colors and sizes! I don’t know why they both repel and interest me, but something about them is very otherworldly…

And I can safely say that I have never removed as many mushrooms any years past as I have in the past few days. Seriously. I hope this isn’t a negative sign for the summer ahead. Yikes.

In other not-so-fun gardening news, I got hit by poison ivy this week. Or, I got hit by *something* that made my skin go crazy.

In one of the large planters on the side of the house, where my Penta are growing (part of a little butterfly/hummingbird garden I have going), this mysterious tall and thin plant popped up out of nowhere. Since the planters are outside and not under the screen of the lanai, I ocassionally get a weed and I know exactly what they all look like. But this was something I hadn’t seen before. Because I have actually gotten a few cool things via a plant showing up in one of my planters (like a white Penta- I only planted red and pink- some vinca, etc.), I let The Mystery Plant grow for a few days, seeing what it would do.

I finally decided to yank The Mystery Plant on Wednesday morning, because it looked weedy. It was tall and narrow, and had light green serrated, ruffly leaves. Of course, I had to examine it after I pulled it, but seeing nothing of interest, I discarded it in the garden trash. Right after that, I went swimming and showered and went about my day.

A few hours later, my skin started itching like crazy- not a mosquito bite itch, but more like a deep burning itch. And my eyes were bothering me. I didn’t put two and two together until the middle of the night where in itchy frustration I grabbed my iPhone and typed in “rash” and “reaction” and the first thing that came up was poison ivy. Duh.

I’m not sure if it was actually poison ivy- I spent a lot of time googling different irritant plants this afternoon and nothing really looked like what I picked. But whatever it was, I had a reaction to it. And I learned a lesson- no more messing about with mysterious weeds until I know what they are for sure. Never thought I would get poison ivy from a container garden but I guess anything is possible.

In HAPPY garden news, my rose bush gave me another beautiful flower this week. It’s in a weird place and has never been the healthiest plant so the fact that it gives me roses at all is a cause for celebration.

We got the rose at Home Depot (it was kind of an impulse purchase- it was on an endcap and the only one of its kind), came home, put it in the ground, and it languished for months. It finally shriveled into nothing, so Tom  dug it up, trimmed the dead stuff off, cut a huge portion of the root system away, and we re-planted it in a fairly large planter. It was literally a brown stump so I figured it was a goner. However, a few weeks later, there were little green bumps on the stump. And it slowly regrew into a tiny narrow bush. Every so often when it’s looking rough, I cut it way back and it comes right back. It just grows into a little narrow column, which is fine. I’m happy it grows at all. I guess I just consider it a “rescue” kinda plant. I give it love and water and don’t expect much, and every so often it surprises me with a perfect flower to clip and bring inside and enjoy for several days.

The rose kinda makes up for the poison ivy thing. I guess it’s all part of life in a garden.

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