Gardener's Grapevine 2012.03.28

Written by David Green.

I found this quote this week by Robert Louis Stevenson this week when I was reading and thought it was awesome: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

Granted, I know it has a double meaning, but after the day I’ve had in the garden it is even more appropriate.

I went to church Sunday morning and have to admit that the thought passed through my mind to pray for a day free from rain. I resisted the urge, since many more important things need the Lord’s attention. I did, however, inhale lunch, change clothes, and rush out to play in the dirt!

First, I had to mow the lawn, then I could work on the flower beds. I wrote in the last two columns that we should restrain ourselves from uncovering our perennials, as we surely will have another cold snap. Apparently it doesn’t matter, because with the extreme rises in temperature the plants have uncovered themselves.

My columbine are a foot tall already and the hostas have to be at least four inches out of the ground. All the coneflower is up, so I took the tops off. The birds must have had an easy go of it this winter as the old coneflower stalks still had seeds on them. Usually they strip all the seeds even though they get all the sunflower seeds they can eat from the feeders.

I stopped feeding the birds anything but black oil sunflower seeds as I like sunflowers and invariably anything put in the feeders is going to grow from what falls on the ground. I get tired of pulling out millet plants.

Art set the last section of fencing across the front garden, cemented the posts in, and tightened up everything with extra screws. It looks great. If any of you know my husband you probably know he is an outstanding woodworker. He is planning on building an arbor at the gateway, complete with a garden seat. I cant wait to see the final product.

The butterfly bush in front of the fence has always done me proud. It is enormous and the thing must be five feet around when not corralled by rope. It has thrown four very nice babies which have all gone to other people’s yards and are thriving.

I am thrilled that I pruned the raspberries last week, because they are unbelievable this week—leafing out with many new shoots. I am a little concerned with what will happen to them and the fruit trees if we get a heavy frost. My pear and cherry tree are in full bloom and it is too early.

I was worried about the bees being out to pollinate since it’s so early, but my friend and neighbor, Mary Johnson, said she had some at her house. This is not good for her as she is very allergic to them, but it’s awesome news for the fruit trees.

While I’m not a fan of snow and ice, this weather is just plain weird. For the sake of all our plants and the cost of fruit, I hope it stays warm. Art’s peas are above ground and doing great. There should be a good harvest with the rate of growth this year.

My Uncle Dwight stopped by for a rhubarb start and some flower starts that he thought belonged in the vegetable garden. He said he has radishes ready and potatoes coming up.

Every gardener I know is amazed by the weather and the oddity of it. All I can say is, I’m heading to the garden every chance I get, and thank you God for the beauty of it all.

  • 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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