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Posts Tagged ‘Mushroom’

…Another interesting couple of weeks from the Garden’s of Casa de Froio!

Mystery Fungi in the Schefflera

Fungi in the Schefflera

I found the above little grouping of fungi growing in the soil of my indoor Schefflera plant. I believe that the mushroom is an Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, or Flowerpot Parasol. The Schefflera’s soil has produced solitary individuals of this mushroom variety in the past; however, this is the first time that such an amazing grouping has emerged from the mycelium which lives below the soil.

Mushroom Caps Slowly Opening

Mushroom Caps Slowly Opening

Caps Fully Opened

Caps Fully Opened

As the title of this post suggests, I have been temporarily hobbled with a broken ankle which occurred on the 6th of September. This really sucks as outside of gardening my other all-consuming passion is road cycling; which as you might expect, will now be taking a 6 – 8 week hiatus! I am hopeful to be able to start tentative indoor cycle training by late October / early November and be back on the road again by late November.

Ouch!

Ouch!

The break is a Left Bimalleolar Tibial Fracture with a Displaced Fracture of the Left Tibia Present! Zoinks! What a mouthful! Oh well, what was the line from Bart Simpson in the episode where he tried to jump his skateboard across a gorge?

Bones Heal, Chicks Dig Scars, and America has the Number One Doctor to Daredevil Ratio in the World.

Seeing as the injury did not kill me; my take is that it can only be making me stronger!!

Onion Flower in Bloom

Onion Flower in Bloom

In other garden news; my test onion plant is in bloom and I expect to be able to harvest the onion(s) within the next couple of weeks. From my prior experience with growing onions and garlic; I just need to wait for the flowering head to begin to die back for the onion below to be fully grown. I will be sure to post pictures once the harvest is done with results and how the onion’s flavor compared to the store-bought onion from which these were grown.

Peace Lily Finally Opens

Peace Lily Finally Opens

Lily in Silouette

Lily in Silhouette

Anthurium Nearly Fully Opened

Anthurium Nearly Fully Opened

The race for complete opening between the outdoor Peace Lily and the indoor Anthurium has concluded with the Peace Lily just edging out the Anthurium for full opening. Both are beautiful and it was a great treat to be able to watch their slow unfurling into their present majestic beauty.

I leave you today with these final parting shots from the garden…

Pennisetum's Tail

Pennisetum’s Tail

Miss Helen Mount Viola

Miss Helen Mount Viola

Until Next Time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~ Noah

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Croton v. Super California

Croton v. Super California

Today, I thought that I would highlight some of my patio plants which get little (or no) press here on my little blog. One of those that I don’t believe I have ever mentioned is my Croton v. Super California. It is a plant much more to home in Florida than here in Northern California; however, along with my Anthurium (also one that typically doesn’t always fare too well here in Northern California), she has been enjoying the confines of my patio without a problem.

The Croton is a mix of wildly vivid colors; which my camera unfortunately does little justice to represent! From bright reds, to dark greens, and just about every shade of yellow in between, the Croton is quickly becoming a great focal point in a fairly benign portion of my patio garden.

My sidewalk cutting fuschia

My sidewalk cutting fuchsia’s first blooms!

Next is my little fuchsia. She has been trying to gain a foothold for about a year now; withering and coming back, only to wither again. I think this time she has found the right place in the yard to give growth another try! She was grown from a very crudely obtained cutting when I happened upon her mother tree one day while having lunch with a colleague. I rooted her in water and then planted her and she was doing fine for a while; however, ended up withering to near dead looking. I put her outdoors and let nature take her course. Well, she has finally regrown to the point of setting these blossoms; time will tell where she goes from there.

An orchid bloom stalk curls out like a snake's head

An orchid bloom stalk curls out like a snake’s head

One of my orchids has finally decided to send up a tentative bloom stalk!! She is still tiny and I am not wholly certain of the type/variety. I believe she is a Cattleya; however, I have no idea of the variety nor of the bloom color. From the looks of the above bloom stalk I am thinking the flowers will be white; yet, who knows with Orchids! Stay tuned friends!

That is about all that is new from this side of the garden; so I will leave you today with some of my favorites from the week!

Cut flower arrangement from my garden

Cut flower arrangement from my garden

The sole calla lily continues to darken

The sole calla lily continues to darken

Dahlia v. Mystic Haze

Dahlia v. Mystic Haze

Amazon Sunset, Parrot's Beak (more like claw!!)

Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak (more like claw!!)

Happy Gardening Friends!

Happy Gardening Friends!

~ Noah

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And, I couldn’t possibly be happier about it!

Dragons here, Dragons there...

Dragons here, Dragons there…

The snapdragon blooms are again the stars of the patio garden, with blooms ranging in color from pure white, yellow, pink, and magenta, there is definitely no shortage of color out on the patio these days! What the photos don’t show; however, is that the snapdragon’s bloom stalks are so tall, and the blooms are so large, that most of them are bent at crazy angles and are much closer to the ground than they are the sky! Oh well, they are still beautiful and I will enjoy them for as long as they last.

A number of bees have decided to visit and get their pollen fill

A number of bees have decided to visit and get their pollen fill

Layers of Dragons have taken residence

Layers of Dragons have taken residence

Bright yellow dragons

Bright yellow dragons

The Lotus family member; Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak, continues to put out more of her beautiful, signature blooms. I have waited all year for the Parrot’s Beak’s to spring back to life and they are definitely living up to my hopes.

Amazon Sunset, Parrot's Beak

Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak

Fiery beaks everywhere

Fiery beaks everywhere

I love these little flowers!

I love these little flowers!

Elsewhere around the garden; my Oyster Mushroom patch continues to produce new mushrooms and the ones that I have harvested so far, were darn tasty! Thanks to my friends at Back to the Roots for the mushroom kit! It took a little while to get going; however, well worth the wait and patience.

Yummy Oyster Mushrooms

Yummy Oyster Mushrooms

Around the rest of the patio; the hydrangea blossoms continue to get bigger and bigger and my long dormant Calla Lily are finally making a resounding comeback! I am hoping that they will begin to form their signature flower (well, bract) soon.

Hydrangea blossoms abound

Hydrangea blossoms abound

The Calla Lily Garden Rebounding

The Calla Lily Garden Rebounding

The Calla Lily, which I have learned is actually NOT a true Lily; and the ‘flower’ is NOT the plants true flower – as I learned from researching my Anthurium andreanum, it is part of an inflorescence, which is on a leafless flower stalk which consists of a spathe and spadix. The ‘flower’ is the spathe, the well-known large, flaring, trumpet-shaped bract that surrounds the spadix which is covered with the plants actual tiny flowers. Now you know!

Well friends, I hope that your gardens are in bloom and that your soil is rich! I will leave you with a couple of parting shots that didn’t really fit in above that I just liked and thought I would share…

Just a nice blue flower

Just a nice blue flower with some friends arriving soon

A dragon hides within the Avocado tree, sneaky!!

A dragon hides within the Avocado tree, sneaky!!

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~ Noah

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Nope; I did not just return from a visit to a medieval bird sanctuary on the coast…

The snapdragon are in glorious bloom!

The snapdragon are in glorious bloom!

A parrot hides amongst the rosemary and thyme

A parrot hides amongst the rosemary and thyme

Oyster Mushrooms finally sprout from the kit

Oyster Mushrooms finally sprout from the kit

My patio garden is again awash in beautiful colors thanks to a multitude of snapdragon blooms which are  popping up everywhere out on the patio. The two variety of snapdragon that I added this season; Rocket Mix Snapdragon and Speedy White Sonnet Snapdragon, have decided that right now appears to the optimal time to open their beautiful pastel flowers and say hello to the world. Right now, there are about 15 to 20 – 2-foot tall stalks growing in assorted planters around the patio that are in full bloom and I couldn’t be happier!

A dragon's bloom, with a sea of daisy blooms in the background

A dragon’s bloom, with a sea of daisy blooms in the background

A new stalk of blooms prepares to open

A new stalk of blooms prepares to open

In addition to the snapdragon’s arrival; the lotus family member, Amazon Sunset, Parrot’s Beak, has rebounded and is now pushing out new flowers almost daily. This little gem is definitely one of the most visually striking flowering plants that I have growing, I hope you agree!!

Flaming Parrot's Batman!

Flaming Parrot’s Batman!

Some of my reader’s may recall that I had been given a Mushroom growing kit some months back; however, it was just not doing anything in the house – not one hint of a mushroom!! So, I figured I would tear it out of its box and bag and just unceremoniously dump it in a shaded, generally moist (from plant watering) area of the patio, and it appears that my efforts is paying off with the first sprouting of fresh Oyster Mushrooms! I will be harvesting these this week and enjoying for dinner!!

Oysters curving around their substrate!

Oysters curving around their substrate!

The ornamental strawberries (fragaria x. lipstick) continue to put out her striking pink flowers; and pre-fruiting bodies, though, I have only ever seen one grow to near eating size, which was gobbled up by Mr. Squirrel while still green. Hope that he enjoyed!

Fragaria x. Lipstick - ornamental strawberry

Fragaria x. Lipstick – ornamental strawberry

More growing beneath the ginger plants

More growing beneath the ginger plants

I will leave you today with a couple of shots that I just happen to really like!!

Euphorbia's flowering stage - looks like teeth protecting the seed?!?!

Euphorbia’s flowering stage – looks like teeth protecting the seed/flower?!?!

Big Boy Avocado continues his upward progress!!

Big Boy Avocado continues his upward progress!!

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!!

~ Noah

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And that fungi has a name; Pleurotus ostreatus; commonly known as the Oyster Mushroom.

At this stage; a tasty Oyster Mushroom Tempura is but a hope which looms on a not too distant horizon. To reach that horizon, I need a couple of weeks of patience, a little bit of good old-fashioned care, and as with anything plant related, a degree of luck. If everything works as planned, I should have a lovely crop of Oyster Mushroom growing right here in the comfort of my own home (the living room to be precise).

You may be asking yourself; ‘What is this Witchcraft that he is speaking of? Mushrooms in the living room? What?’

Well friends, let me tell you about a great, socially responsible, company based right here in Oakland, CA, called Back to the Roots‘.

The Mushroom Kit

The Mushroom Kit

Back to the Roots was started in 2009 by two UC Berkeley graduates who were on decidedly different paths than the path they ended up following. Alejandro (Alex) Velez and Nikhil Arora had an idea that growing gourmet mushrooms entirely on recycled coffee grounds could actually be a thing and together they set about seeing what it would take to bring this idea to fruition. They took the proverbial ‘left turn at Albuquerque‘ at this point, and with that turn, both of their  futures in the corporate world ended, with the new shared goal being set to turn waste into both wages & fresh, local food! Some early backing and support by Whole Foods Markets, Chez Panisse (Alice Waters), and a grant from the UC Berkeley Chancellor for social innovation, have seen Alex and Nikhil become full-time urban mushroom farmers!

> Check out these 2011 TED Talks (TEDx Presidio  /  TEDx YSE ) for the BTTR story as told by Alex and Nikhil

Mushroom Garden in a Box

Mushroom Garden in a Box

I was fortunate enough to have been given a tour of their mushroom operations last week, meet some of the wonderful folks that make Back to the Roots mushroom farm work, and take one of their Oyster Mushroom Garden kits home to grow for myself!! Thank you Alissa, Megan, and everyone at BTTR!! The tour was great and I look forward to watching my ‘shroom garden grow!

Step 1: The big Soak! 12-hours in the drink

Step 1: The big Soak! 12-hours in the drink

Step 2:  Back in the box - spray 2x / day, wait...

Step 2: Back in the box – spray 2x / day, wait…

Stay tuned friends for updates on their growth and hopefully my Oyster Mushroom Tempura recipe and review!

In other gardening news!!

The winter garden refresh continues to pay handsome dividends with explosions of color everywhere! The primrose are going gangbusters, the voila are resplendent in their beautiful blue and yellow, pristine white snow flake gently fall randomly about the patio, and rounding out the floral color boost are the magnificent scarlet pansy which continue to dazzle and amaze with their iridescent yellow edged petals.

I have to say that the winter patio refresh has proven to be one of the best bangs for a buck since Jimmy Carter was making peanuts cool in Washington D.C., Billy Beer was all the rage with KISS concert goers, and Cale Yarborough was kicking butt and taking names on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit!

Scarlet Pansy

Scarlet Pansy

The Helen Mount Viola say Hello!

The Helen Mount Viola say Hello!

Red Primrose peeking up from behind a Scarlet Pansy

Red Primrose peeking up from behind a Scarlet Pansy

Happy Sunday Friends!

Happy Sunday Friends!

Until next time…

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!

~Noah

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So, my last post contained a couple of little mushrooms that had sprouted up from my large garden planter that holds my hydrangea. ginger, and the fragaria x. lipstick strawberry. Well, they apparently told some friends, who told some friends, and now a mushroom partay is jumpin’ off in the big yellow planter!!

It’s a fungus party!

This one is getting pretty big! The cap is 4″ across!

Going to have to pull and ID this one

In other, non-mycological garden happenings, the strawberry continue to provide tasty morsels. These three have been the best that the garden has bestowed upon me so far this season. I am looking forward to a lot more of these in the coming weeks as they absolutely delicious!

Yummy Strawberries!!

Fresh garden strawberries

The snapdragon are again blooming and providing a wonderful splash of their signature pastel brilliance.

yellow / orange snapdragon

Violet, yellow, and white snapdragon

My voila and pansy continue to bloom and provide a beautiful palate of summer color. I love the contrast of the brilliant yellows and blues against the Jade plants dark green foliage.

Summertime!

The garden enjoying the early morning sunshine

My coleus v. meandering Linda, is making a comeback outdoors. I thought she was a goner, so, I planted a bunch of voila in her planter, figuring that time would just make the transition from a coleus planter to a flower planter. Mother Nature had another idea, and I am now hopeful for a planter that will be a brilliant contrast between the deep reds of the coleus and the showy yellow of the voila. You go Mother Nature!!

She is making a comeback – more to come!

That is about all for this week friends, as always, I will leave you with a couple of Parting Shots:

Euphorbia continues her sideways growth

My little Orchid continues to spread her new growth

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

~Noah

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I don’t usually post during the week; however, I wanted to share a little garden visitor that I came across while I was watering the garden when I got home from work yesterday! I know crickets are pretty common for most; however, here in the middle of Oakland, CA, they are cool to see!

A well camouflaged cricket enjoys the Calla Lily

Hello Mr. Cricket, watch out for the birdies!

One of the mushrooms that have sprouted in my large planter box over the weekend continues to develop and grow larger and larger! Still not sure what it is, but, will just let it grow and run its course. I make sure that I give the patch a nice dose of water everyday to encourage continued growth. Right now, it’s about the size of an old silver dollar.

Still shroomin’ after all these years!

And, finally today, just some random photos of my plants (both at home and at work!):

Strawberry, fragaria x. lipstick’s unique flower!

Closeup of coleus v. red roof’s flowers

My tomato plant on my desk at work

Some interesting growth on my croton!!

And, as usual, my parting shots for the day, some of the local fauna to mix with the flora above!!

One of our local Canadian Geese

An Egret out fishing

Nesting birds at Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA

HAPPY GARDENING FRIENDS!!

Regards, from Oakland, CA

~ Noah

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