“I love things that are indescribable, like the taste of an avocado or the smell of a gardenia.”
– Barbra Streisand
We experienced a long-awaited series of rainshowers on Friday night and Saturday morning. Venturing into the yard once the sun was out again, I found meadow mushrooms (Agaricus campestris) growing in the lawn. These have now shown up in autumn for three years in a row. They are safe to eat and have a unique subtle flavor, so I added them to a salad for our brunch, along with the only currently ripe tomato.

Starting with the weekend's gardening tasks, I shook aphids off of the Santa Barbara daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus), and treated it with the diluted coffee spray, which repels insects nicely. It's a hardy, drought-tolerant plant. I bought it in April 2016, then it self-seeded to an additional pot nearby on my seedling pot trellis. Adjacent to the original Santa Barbara daisy is one of the plants that blooms reliably every fall and winter, the white cyclamen. I like the patterned leaves on these as much as the flowers.

I also spent some time tending to the morning glories and zinnias, moving a few to bigger pots with bamboo support stakes. Hopefully being transplanted does not unsettle those that have started blooming. Then I rooted tufts of grass (that were growing in cracks between paving stones) into bare patches of the lawn. Arragon cat caught the gopher that had been digging it up, but not before the tunneling and mounds of dirt made quite a mess. There's still more to do in repairing/weeding the lawn, perhaps even removing selfheal (Prunella vulgaris) that's taken over from grass in many areas, but it's looking far better than it did during the dry, hot days of summer.
Clicking on the cropped images below will show the full image in a new window.
Mushrooms among Selfheal

Meadow mushrooms and selfheal.

White Cyclamen

Cyclamen in bloom.

Daisy and Aphids

Shaking aphids off daisies.


Then I deadheaded the rosebushes, and discovered that a squirrel had left a peanut in one of the seashells I use to decorate the soil of my container plants! Perhaps he will find it again and bury it properly. The roses are doing well for November; bloom cycles are winding down, but there are still one or two roses open on the plants every week. I plan to sell potpourri sachets at a craft fair on the 17th, so I gathered lots of fallen petals to dry from the roses, geraniums and fuchsia.

Thinking that they would appreciate more sunlight, I moved two sweet potato vine plants from the vegtable patch into the cluster of pots by the front porch. I bought these last Tuesday from a grocery store. I hope it's possible for them to eventually produce flowers, but it might be too late in the year. We will see.

Indoors, the red Holiday cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) is in bloom. The white one has buds, which may be fully open in a week or so. I'm glad I read about proper Christmas/Thanksgiving cactus care earlier this year. I figure a low-watering phase and shorter periods of light from our skylights have encouraged my plants to start producing these lovely flowers.


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