Monday, March 22, 2010

Tales from the Garden: Orange Thing

So while poking around my garden searching for a already established good low groundcover to fill the garden paths of my large garden beds, I contemplated the woodland/Indian strawberry (edible, but no flavor, best for the birds) that's taken over the main shrubbery/azalea bed (which I'm fine w/ because that means no mulching, woohoo!)

I started pulling up some that was invading a pebbly portion  of a path adjacent to this bed when I noticed this:

Thereupon I flipped out and screaming in my head, "WHAT THE HECK?!" and many frightening things such as strawberry blight or rust or whatnot flitted through my brain.

ALL of the woodland strawberry runners that I pulled had this weird orange-y spotted stuff on it, as did a lot of the stuff at the edge of the bed I was pulling from too.

Off to Google I went and my racing heart was able to slow down after I have concluded that all is well. Well, mostly.

(another closeup of the horror)

What I think my woodland strawberry has here is some orange slime mold.  Innocuous from what I have been reading unless the slime mold decides to totally smother the plants, but as I have so many I am not worried.  The slime mold probably cropped up due to the wet weather we've had as of late and has been partying right beneath my nose.

I'll keep an eye on it and see if it makes any moves I don't like, but for now, it's some additional color to the garden?

This slime mold scare made me rethink my idea of using the woodland strawberry as a good path groundcover (it's invasiveness is frightening and I shuddered if my husband was to mow over it and it were to get into the big compost pile we chuck our grass clipping into).

So, I've pulled up a bunch of the oregano I allowed to spread as ground cover underneath some other bushes  and have placed them in the garden paths.  I'm hoping that they'll spread nicely and I'll get a good oregano scent when I stomp around on it in the garden and supposedly oregano oil keeps the mosquitoes away (HOPE).  Either way, probably more pleasant than the strawberry in the long run.   In addition, I had some straggling roman chamomile and stomped it down into the path as well in hopes that I'll get some green apple-y scented goodness too this spring/summer AND also popped some pennyroyal that was running around in the back of the beds in hope that the sun sheltered area will allow them to flourish.

May there be scented deliciousness this summer by my garden beds!

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