Sunday, September 22, 2019

Mushroom Hunting

Many people in different countries love edible wild mushrooms, and sometimes it takes the suggestion that mushroom hunting is good in and of itself. As a child I often went to mushroom hunting with adults, so one of the best ways to help someone understand the joy of this activity is to simply take them out in the woods with you.

In Russia on the mushroom hunting day people get up as early as possible to spend the whole day in a forest. In autumn this practice is ever popular. 

The intention of gathering mushrooms is simply to understand: mushrooms are food, an important element of traditional Russian cuisine. Mushrooms can be dried, roasted, boiled or pickled. I prefer mushroom and potato soup with sour cream. My favorite mushroom is chanterelle, although I love cooking other varieties of wild edible fungi.

I love strolling in the woods, enjoying autumnal beauty of the nature, the yellow leaves falling and flying, when grass and moss hides the fungi heads. What a joy to hold a nice healthy edible mushroom such as 'white' or 'red head" one. It's funny to find a family of fungi growing on a tree trunk.

Have you ever gone to mushroom hunting? Do you love eating wild mushroom, can you cook them?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

China Aster (Callistephus chinensis)

I love China asters and every year I grow them from seeds. Aster is beautiful in bouquets. Its lush, light flowers on long sturdy stems are magnificent in large bouquets. Cut aster flowers retain freshness in water in bouquets for up to 14 days. I only must not forget to change the water in vases for fresh.

It's said Aster is the queen of the autumn flower garden. In recent times, annual China asters were planted in urban flowerbeds after biennials that had faded and lost their decorative features. China Aster can also be used to replace faded early spring bulbs.

I plant annual China aster in flower beds or in tubs at any time. Their roots are very branched and easily restored if they are slightly torn off. Therefore, even adult plants can be replanted, with buds or already blooming.

Asters are inherently cold-resistant, can endure short-term frosts up to minus 7 °С. Our climate is changeable, the temperature is up and down during the autumnal day.

In dry weather abundant watering is required, but asters are very sensitive to excessive moisture. So I water them not often. In my garden they bloom profusely until the first frost.  I feed plants with mineral fertilizers which improve their growth, the duration of flowering, the brightness of flowers.

My new videos:

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Summer 2019: Rhododendrons in My Garden

September is already there, summer has run so fast. The end of May and June it was a time of magnificent flowering of evergreen rhododendrons and azaleas in my garden.

The winter of 2018-19 was very snowy. The snow lay in dense layers and strongly bent their trunks and branches  to the ground.

In early May, flower buds began to grow and I realized that they are alive and will bloom. The evergreen 'Daughter of the North' (lilac) bloomed first, then the 'Helsinki University' (red), then 'Peter Tigereshedt' (white with a brown spot). Later 'Haaga' (dark red) and 'Roseum Elegans' (light lilac).

In June, all the bushes pleased me with their bright flowering. 

When the evergreen rhododendrons began to fade, my azaleas opened their flowers. 'Northern Lights' (white with a lemon spot) and 'Mandarin Lights' (orange) continued the beauty in this corner of the garden.

In July, I usually remove faded flowers . Later, I feed evergreen rhododendrons and azaleas with mainly potassium and phosphorus. I hope my rhododendrons will please me next summer.  
What was summer in your garden?

My video Rhododendrons: