Gardener's Grapevine 2011.10.12

Written by David Green.

When I drive home from work I take the “road less traveled,” so to speak. Airport Highway splits outside of Swanton and goes both directions around the airport. I take the road that goes behind the airport and through Monclova. It is mostly wooded and skirts Oak Openings metro park. It is an exceptionally beautiful drive right now. The woods are beginning to turn, but there are still a great deal of green trees, also. There are a lot of deer everyday eating along the roadside. It is a painter’s dream.

Saturday Art and I took a drive up to Lansing to see Nick at MSU. It was a gorgeous drive. The colors are so vibrant and the roadsides have some nice dried grasses and some of the flowers are still blooming along with the beautiful red sumac. I always thought sumac in the fall would be beautiful in an arrangement, but with my luck I would pick the poisonous kind.

I enjoy everything about the changing of the seasons except my rotten allergies. How can someone who loves the outdoors be so allergic to all of it? I have a little trick that works wonders and I will share it with all you seasonal allergy and sinus sufferers—elderberry. Elderberry is a natural anti-inflammatory and if your sinuses don’t get inflamed, then they don’t usually cause all the problems like allergy symptoms and infections. It is available in liquid or capsule form at most natural food or vitamin stores. If you suffer, give it a try. I looked it up to see if it interfered with other medications, including prescriptions, and didn’t find that it did. Take two capsules in the morning and if you have really bad symptoms, take an additional two at night. I don’t get my allergic runny nose, stuffiness or sinus headaches when I’m faithful to the elderberry and I can enjoy the outdoors all I want.

Gardening is a lot more than playing in the dirt or picking out pretty flowers. It’s also about friends sharing tips on everything that makes the experience enjoyable and keeping the drive going. If you are miserable, it’s hard to do something that intensifies the misery. So I share and hope you all will also.

Now is the time to get new garden tools if you need them. Most stores are having clearance sales and you can pick up garden tools at below reasonable prices. I usually replace my pruner every other year. They only take so much sharpening and then begin to get pretty loose. I look for hand tools that are from bent steel instead of welded, as the welds tend to break easily. Shovels, spades, hoes, hoses, etc., all usually get a clearance sticker, especially in big box stores, as they don’t want to store them until spring. Their loss can be our big win. 

For the gardener on your Christmas list now is the perfect time to get a gift or make a gift basket. Every year the Garden Club Christmas party is a big hit with our members. We all bring a party food and one or two wrapped gifts. After the food and conversation, we have a gift auction and donate the proceeds to the Kiwanis Wishing Tree. Many a gardening gift has been known to show up for auction. It’s always a fun evening.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
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    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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