The past few weeks, we’ve had record rainfall all across the northern part of South Africa.
Apart from the lawn and weeds taking over, our garden was transformed into a fairytale landscape by mushrooms of all shapes and sizes popping up everywhere.
Hidden underneath the canopy of plants that have shot up due to all the rains, the delicate beauties awaited discovery. Some were more obvious, proudly displaying their colours on benches and stumps or pushing through the edge of the lawn.
Large parts of our garden have undisturbed piles of leaves, branches and other debris, since I don’t believe in ‘tidying up’ a garden too much. I believe that this provides a habitat for all the necessary critters that help create a real living garden.
The mushrooms love this. They help break down the leaf matter in a dazzling display of variety, from bright yellow sulphur caps to the most delicate mushrooms you can imagine. Like tiny hairs on a piece of wood, their miniature caps are only visible if you look very closely, displaying beautiful ridges and texture.
My parents came over and discovering these beauties with my mother opens up a whole different level of appreciation. She loves mushrooms and tries to identify as many as she can. The variety in my garden delighted her, and I found myself trotting to her, as excited as a little kid, with every new discovery I made.
We studied the organization of gills , wondered at the fragile tutu-like rings around stems and sniffed at the larger ones like pedigree truffle-pigs.
We had a lovely time, the discovery of the different species lightening the dreary task of weeding.
A garden is about so much more than just the flowers and shrubs. Sometimes you have to look a bit harder to find the beauty, and sometimes the beauty lies in the experience you share with someone in your garden.
May you be building memories in your garden!