Small Scale

July 18, 2015 fungus 009

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It can be interesting to watch nature’s processes play out on a small scale.  That is one of the attractions of gardening in containers, for me.

This large container sits in a shady area of our deck.  It was planted as a moss garden through the winter, but by June it required some major rehabilitation.

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November 25, 2014 moss garden 013

Last November, when this garden was newly made. The ‘pond’ did not work out very well to hold water. I removed this feature and planted a hardy Begonia in the space. The moss turned brown in our warm spring when it dried out on sunny days.

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Since I had some tiny potted ferns and Begonias which needed a more permanent home, I’ve been re-working this little garden by adding new plants.  Several volunteers, from airborne seeds, or possibly from the patches of moss, are colonizing the garden as well.  It is endlessly interesting to watch what grows here.

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July 18, 2015 fungus 008

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And now, there is a golden yellow mushroom growing right under the little tree!  Who knows whether the spores which started its growth were already in the potting soil, came with the moss, or blew in on the breeze.

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July 18, 2015 fungus 007

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Whatever the case, the mycelium which supports this fruiting fungus is alive and well in the pot, connecting the roots of one plant with another.  The tiny tubular filaments of the mycelium, networking through the soil, help distribute nutrients and water from one plant to another, just as they do up in our forest.  All of the plants benefit from fungi in the soil.

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bouquet and environ

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And what next, for this tiny garden?  Some of the Begonias are hardy.  I’m looking forward to them blooming as the season progresses, and their roots will survive here to grow again next summer.

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July 18, 2015 fungus 005

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A dwarf Begonia, and some of the little ferns, are tender and must be dug this autumn to survive.  Perhaps then I’ll bring fresh moss to carpet the soil through winter.

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July 18, 2015 fungus 002

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As dynamic as any part of the larger garden, this little space allows us to watch the seasons come and go in small scale.

Woodland Gnome 2015

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July 18, 2015 fungus 001

The same fungi have begun to grow in a nearby pot. Perhaps their spores came with the potting soil….

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

8 responses to “Small Scale

  1. Laurin Lindsey

    All that is missing is the little gnomes and fairies, perhaps they visit at night when you are fast asleep!

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