Clandestine Trysts and Benevolent Acts
– The Secret World of Garden Fungi
Fungi have aroused both delight and fear across the centuries, around the globe. The so-called mushrooms and toadstools have captured imaginations due to their qualities of edibility and toxicity, hallucinogenicity and ephemerality. Some cultures even believed them to have supernatural powers.
However, beyond the myths and legends, fungi underpin almost every terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. They build architecture in soils, aerating them and allowing water to gently percolate to deeper horizons. Although little known, the roots of almost every plant in the Australian landscape are intimately entwined with fungi. These mutually beneficial relationships extend beyond trees to include every orchid and most shrubs and grasses. They are the secret to their success in our highly variable climate and nutrient-deficient soils.
Fungi not only help plants access water and nutrients, but also increase their resistance to drought and disease. While often maligned by gardeners, the great majority of fungi are friends, not foes. This illustrated and interactive seminar explores these fascinating relationships and looks at ways to encourage their flourishing in our gardens, parks and local environments.
Signed copies of Alison’s recent book The Allure of Fungi will be available for purchase.
Further workshops and forays are listed here.