Gardener's Grapevine 2012.05.13

Written by David Green.

Mother’s Day is an amazing holiday and the amount of flowers that are purchased is phenomenal. I was at the greenhouse on Friday night getting the bedding flowers for the church and it was crazy the amount of people buying flowers for Mother’s Day. The clerk told me that one holiday could make or break a greenhouse’s profit base during the summer. Most of the big box store contracts are beefed up for it also. The gift of choice, I guess, is flowers.

I put in a lot more perennials at the church this year. It just makes more sense to me to put in plants that will come back year after year and that don’t need a ton of care. Annuals are beautiful and they add great color to the landscaping. The cost of annuals versus the one time cost of perennials is a no brainer.

Also perennials throw lots of babies or get really big and you can split them. A nice little bonus for gifting or swapping with others to make their day brighter.

My aunt Pat and I planted the church flowers and it is always a lot of work. As I worked in the landscaping I noticed that two of the peony bushes had all their bulbs pulled off. I can’t imagine why anyone would do this. They won’t open up without the ants and who wants ants in their house? This is the first year they would have bloomed, too, and I was excited to see what we were going to get. 

Mark Ries donated all of the rootstock from his landscaping. There is more poison ivy growing up the church wall that Art will have to kill. The only thing that will kill it is brush killer and you have to dig up the roots and discard them. When you dig the roots, wear disposable gloves and throw the dirt away. Put everything in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash receptacle.

Poison ivy is one plant that also poisons the soil and it is a permanent poisoning, it does not leave with the rain or anything else. It is a nasty plant that can make some people quite miserable. I am so allergic to it that I get blisters, welts and scars.

By the way, mangos are in the poison ivy family and you do not want to eat them if you are super sensitive to it. I spent some time in a Florida emergency room after eating some small pieces on a salad. The doctor there informed me they are in the same family and can give you the same symptoms inside as out. Not a fun adventure to say the least.

One more thing to note: do not ever burn poison ivy or the roots, as it can become airborne and infect more than just you. Consider it the devil of plants and get rid of it ASAP!

On an interesting note, I’d like to mention a strange thing that happened to my grandma Katherine last week. As many of you know she lives on Stateline Road beside my aunt and uncle. My aunt called her on the phone and told her to look out her front window. There is a big bird feeder out there and Gram spreads feed on the ground. She said she had between 12 and 20 blue jays at her feeder. I would have loved to see that. Jays are one of the most beautiful birds, but also one of the meanest. Most other birds won’t feed at a feeder if a jay is there. I would have loved to see all of them.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • 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.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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