The Lucky Gardener

Puff the Magic Mushroom
September 29, 2010, 17:56
Filed under: giant puff ball mushroom

We’ve been deluged with rain lately, and more is on the way. For naturalists, rain = opportunity. What we call mushrooms are actually the fruiting bodies of thread-like (called mycelia) plants that live underground, known as fungi.

Mushrooms will burst out of the ground when enough moisture within the mycelia allows the plant to produce them.

Arriving home this afternoon, I was surprised by the sight you see to the left: a group of Giant Puffball Mushrooms, known botanically as Calvatia gigantea.

Amazing sight. The picture below gives more of a perspective of its size.

September 14, 2010, 15:19
Filed under: Uncategorized

The garden design/build company I founded is named for one of my favorite living things, the Ginkgo Tree.

In Latin, it is known as Ginkgo biloba¬† –¬† the species name ‘bi-loba’ refers to the leave’s 2-lobed shape.

The Ginkgo tree is an ancient tree, with fossil records showing its relatives as far back as the Jurassic-era – some 200 million years ago. The photo below shows an actual fossil of a ginkgo leaf.

Ginkgo trees are Dioecious (dye-e-shuss), meaning male and female sex parts are in separate trees .

(another dioecious example are Holly trees).

In contrast, nearly all trees found in today’s forests are monoecious- meaning both sexes are contained on the same tree.

Ginkgos are widely planted in cities because of their resistance to pollutants. The fruits of the female trees ripen in fall and create a terribly foul odor when crushed underfoot. The nut inside the fruit is prized for its culinary, health and aphrodisiac qualities.

Colorful Autumn Gardens
September 3, 2010, 17:58
Filed under: Uncategorized

Late summer, and into autumn, many plants with tongue-twisting names take prominence in our garden. The likes of Callicarpa, Caryopteris and Perovskia set the stage for the final flowering act of the season.

At the time when flower-bursting plants of spring and summer have long exhausted their energies, these latent linguistic shrubs are breaking their dormancy with vibrant blooms to entertain us until Thanksgiving.

You can easily incorporate these into your garden and extend the flowering season significantly.

The following photos show some of my favorites.


Caryopteris (Kar-ee-op-tor-iss)
Callicarpa (Kal-ah-kar-pah)
Gaura (Gore-ah)
Japanese Anenome (ah-nen-oh-mee)
Crape Myrtle