Gardener's Grapevine 2011.12.14

Written by David Green.

It’s Sunday afternoon and here I sit in the living room. Out the window I can see the beautiful birds at my feeders, and across the room is our beautifully two-thirds decorated Frasier fir Christmas tree. It’s two-thirds decorated because my dad’s lab, Buddy, cleans the bulbs on the lower one-third off with his tail. Apparently labs have an inability to control their tails and the ever-present wag.

Kisses, our “labadork” retriever, had to have her tail docked two years ago due to extreme wagging and cutting it open. According to the vet, their tails don’t heal well. This could all be solved if God took the ADD portion of a lab’s personality out of them. They are overly happy animals with an extreme desire to please.

This past week while reading, I encountered a poem by Peggy A. Michik from Rome, New York. It seemed to fit right in with the season, as I seem to write a lot about using the winter months to plan for the coming spring and summer. 

The poem was so nicely written I felt it should be shared. Here’s her poem:

“Now’s the time to visualize, how many rows you’ll sow.

Three or four or maybe more, with thoughts of what to grow.

You can start with seeds of kindness, compassion is a yes,

Love and care, they must be there with no room left to guess.

Start your garden early and tend the chosen ground,

Don’t think twice ’til the weather is nice, let goodness bloom all year round.”

At Christmas everyone thinks of being nice, kind and giving. Doesn’t it seem as that should be all year round? Rudeness is just another way to show someone that you don’t care, and who wants to leave that impression?

When you are doing your Christmas shopping, remember that even a non-gardener usually likes flowers and there are kits available to start herbs and flowers indoors that can later be transplanted outside.

This is even true of the miniature rose bushes they sell in many big box stores. These roses are some of the heartiest available and few things will mess with them, especially Japanese beetles, so it is usually my “go to” if I need a no fuss option somewhere. They are planted in front of my front porch in all different colors and in the summer it is very attractive. Of course, each one has it’s own lavender plant. As I have said in the past for every rose bush, plant a lavender right next to it. You will have the prettiest and healthiest roses in town.

It is so cold today and I noticed when I fed the birds that the ground is frozen hard. So I guess it’s safe to say winter is definitely here for the duration.

Now is the time to trim your trees because they are dormant. That’s just what everyone wants to do in the freezing cold. I pruned our pear tree two years ago in the freezing cold and it was just as big the following year. I dislike cold, so it didn’t get done again.

  • 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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