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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • 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.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.

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