Gardener's Grapevine 2011.07.07

Written by David Green.

“Knee high by the fourth of July” ring a bell with anyone? It’s an old saying that supposedly means if the corn is knee high by the fourth of July it will be a good crop. 

Traveling back and forth to Maumee every day I see lots of fields and gardens. Around Assumption the crops are really excelling. I see wheat fields that are so beautiful and have really full heads. There is something so peaceful about the golden wheat waiving in the breeze and watching it ripple in the sunlight. I go to work as the sun is rising and it throws multiple shades of yellow and gold across the field—a very beautiful thing to see first thing in the morning.

It amazes me how a simple seed with very little assistance becomes a plant, and even without a flower can be a glorious site. Plants are very resilient and can grow in the strangest places.

My friend Mary Johnson has a columbine that grows every year in a crack in the concrete on her back patio. There is no nourishment other than what is in the crack and no water except the rain, yet a two foot hardy plant grows not just one year, but every year! It flowers just as beautiful as any other columbines in the gardens.

Nature is all around us and so many people just fly by without ever seeing most of it. Last week Art and I were driving home in the evening down Gorham Street and in the fields behind the houses on the east side were two sets of deer. The first set appeared to be two does grazing and they looked so regal standing in the field. Just outside the city limits, way back towards the woods, were a doe and her twin fawns grazing.

If you drive the speed limit or over in life you miss the fawns grazing, the morning wheat waving in the sunlight, and the oriole sitting on the roadside wildflowers.

Have you ever sat on the porch in your own yard and just done nothing but listen to whatever is there? Sure, there is going to be “commercial” noise such as automobiles and the noise of daily life, but there are lots of different birds each with their own individual calls, bees working, squirrels being squirrelly, sometimes a tree creaking. 

When I add to my gardens, I think about what will utilize what I add. Certain things are attracted to certain plants and objects. Next week I will talk about what attracts what in the garden.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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