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.batter
    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.
  • Front.green Screen
    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.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • 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.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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