In the Garden | Penstemons will brighten your landscape

Mary Fran McClure

It's heartening to see mushrooms sprouting in our lawn; not because they should be growing there, but to me it's a very positive sign that the defunct aspen tree roots beneath the lawn are decomposing, promoting that mushroom growth. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi.

On Sept. 15, you can learn about fungi and other decomposition wizards at the free Third Saturday in the Garden event at the Community Education Garden. It takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on the northwest corner of Western and Springwater avenues in Wenatchee. 

Master Gardeners will lead several presentations. First, Cindy Luksus will explain what fungi are and the important role they play in the health of our forests, agriculture and daily lives.

"People tend to overlook fungi," says Luksus. Seeing them during her hikes and then photographing them in the forest, a whole new world opened up for her. That led her to read, take classes and really appreciate this interesting kingdom that is neither plant nor animal, can't make its own food and reproduces by spores.

Norval Fliegel, co-coordinator of the compost area, will give practical information on the importance of composting and how to do it in your own garden.

If children come to the event, Cheri Garrett has a fairy story to read and will lead them in making fairy gardens.

Foundation sales have two books specifically for this event: "Teaming with Microbes" and "Teaming with Fungi," plus a bulletin titled "How to Build Compost Bins." They also offer garden gloves and many other garden related items, all supporting Master Gardeners.

Diagnostics folks will have a table set up for helping with your gardening questions and problems.

Beckstead Electric of Wenatchee is the helpful sponsor for this event.

This winds up this year's Third Saturday in the Garden season running May through September.

For more information, visit or call WSU Extension weekdays at 667-6540.


A WSU Master Gardeners of Chelan County column appears weekly in The Wenatchee World. Mary Fran McClure is one of four columnists featured.