Gardener's Grapevine 2011.12.07

Written by David Green.

What a wonderful place Morenci is to live. All the churches have fund-raisers and ours is a Christmas bazaar. Saturday was our bazaar and a lot of Morenci residents turned out for it. There was all manner of talk about Christmas, from decorating to food to the parade later that evening downtown. It is very heartwarming to see neighbors enjoying time together and looking forward to more socializing at the parade.

In a small town it is like being part of an enormous family of friends. Sure, not everyone gets along and there are tiffs among long-term acquaintances, but that is common in any kind of family. In a large city this would be impossible, but Morenci welcomes one and all, and is willing to extend a hand to a new community member.

As our year comes to an end, so do our Garden Club meetings. Tuesday will be our final meeting for the year. After that we go dark (no meetings) for a couple months and start up again in March. Our December meeting is actually more party than meeting. We each bring snack foods and one or two wrapped gifts. The gifts are auctioned and the money is donated to the Wishing Tree project to help wherever they fall short.

The Garden Club is a wonderful organization that benefits the city in ways many people never realize. It is also open to anyone desiring to join. We do many fun and educational things, as well as civic work. When you consider your commitments for 2012 consider coming to one of our meetings even if it’s only to see what we are about.

Gardening creates a sense of community. You grow something that succeeds—sometimes more than you want—yet it is so amazingly beautiful that you have to share it with someone. A “gardening friendship” begins and the other person usually shares their successes in return.

Two gardeners in a group are usually able to draw out others with the same interests, and so the community forms and grows. It almost becomes an obsession to find a new plant or new way of growing different things so you can have success and also share with your friends.

Winter is a time of dormancy, but it is also a time for planning, reading and researching. I read a lot of gardening books, as well as catalogs and websites. Months ago I wrote about using a notebook to keep track of ideas for your garden and the changes that need to be made. Now is when that notebook becomes a valuable friend. It reminds you of what is where and what needs split or pulled completely. If your notes are detailed, it also tells what color is where so you can look at catalogs and websites with an idea of where new things will fit in your garden.

The crazy pull of a passionate gardener is the quest for perceived perfect gardens. The reason I say “perceived perfect” is that everyone has their idea of perfect. There are many styles of gardening and what is perfect to one person may be a perfect mess to another. Still we all push on to our goal and passion.

  • 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.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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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