While in town also found some of our mystery flowers for sale. Here the photo taken two years ago, then the ones I found today:
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They're Mandevillas, and the one I
saw today is called “Crimson Fantasy”
While there, also bought some seeds for Chinese cabbage. No mention of the fantasy name wombok on the package, just like in the same company
there's no mention of Chinese cabbage on the “wombok”s in the food department.
Isn't that a good way to avoid confusion?
Put them in the garden in the hope that it would save me some work, but it looks as if the
devices are designed for higher pressure than the pump can push down the hose, and from time
to time they just stopped rotating, making more work, not less.
We eat nectarines for breakfast, so it sounds like an ideal match. It isn't: the tree
needs incredible amounts of water to stop it from dumping its fruit and leaves. I water it
for 20 minutes most days. Even then, the easiest way to tell when the fruit are ripe is when
the birds start eating them. The result is a lot of rotten fruit:
What can I do? Cover the whole tree in netting? That's too much work. Get rid of the
birds? But we like them, at least the ones that eat the fruit. On the whole I think we should
continue to buy the fruit and chop down the tree to give (some of) the other plants room to
Another day with little to show for itself. Spent some time considering the garden, which
we're planning to change radically over the next couple of months. Some of the flowers we
have are growing like fury, noticeably this aster which has been self-seeding all summer, and
now even some of the new plants are flowering:
According to our bird book, it's a Western Ringneck, and it doesn't
occur east of the Flinders Ranges.
Did some digging around on the web and discovered other reports of them in Victoria (
Sunbury). The general feeling was that it had escaped from an aviary.
Unlike the agaricus varieties that we've had in the past, they grow in dry
conditions and stay in much better condition until they dry out. Spent some time
investigating them; the best guess seems to be that they're something like Macrolepiota
procera, also known as “parasol mushroom”, or Macrolepiota
rhacoides, both eminently edible. But the danger exists that they might be chlorophyllum
molybdites, which are poisonous. As the name might suggest, that mushroom goes
greenish in old age and has a greenish spore print. Grabbed an old mushroom for a spore
print. The gills certainly weren't greenish, but it was obviously too old for a spore
First Nature Multimedia Guide to Fungi There is a lot more about this species and hundreds
of other beautiful and fascinating mushrooms and toadstools on our CD-ROM for PCs with
Why do people do that? They're asking £20 for it, more than I'm prepared to pay, but why
do they deliberately reduce their clientele to users of Microsoft “Internet
Explorer” (which, incidentally, figures at number 10 at Dreckstool)?
The real problem with all these sites (and apparently the “Internet Explorer”
specific CD) is that the photos are so lacking in detail. The photo of macrolepiota
procera on one web site was tiny, and the largest
resolution was 518x389. Others are no better. The CD screen shots suggest that the images
there might be even smaller.
As if that weren't enough, the descriptions don't agree from one place to another. On the
page quoted above, the juvenile macrolepiota rhacoides have pointed hats which
later flatten out, while the macrolepiota procera don't, but become much flatter in
maturity. Another site has photos of macrolepiota
procera that look different again. On the other hand, my old German book set shows (a
much better image of) macrolepiota procera which looks more like the macrolepiota
rhacoides on the web site. Ours look more like the web version of macrolepiota
rhacoides, but they don't have the domed juvenile form. My guess is ours are a slightly
different variety from either of these. Are they edible? Who knows?
Also more research into the mushrooms. The descriptions are really quite a mess, and they
keep contradicting each other. Probably the most interesting thing is that gene analysis has
resulted in a reclassification of many mushrooms, and now macrolepiota rhacodes has
been renamed chlorophyllum rhacodes on account of its similarity with the poisonous
chlorophyllum molybdites. After some investigation, including a quite interesting paper from UCB, decided that my mushrooms could be chlorophyllum
brunneum , or just possibly chlorophyllum nothorhacodes, a variety only reported
from Australia in that paper with the obvious misspelling chlorophyllum nothorachodes.
I'm still not sure, and Peter Jeremy pointed me at the Australian National Botanical Garden site; maybe they can