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.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.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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