Gardener's Grapevine 2012.05.23

Written by David Green.

It is an absolutely beautiful Sunday and what a weekend weather-wise. We were blessed with sunny, beautiful days. The climbing roses are in full bloom.

My three most prominent climbers came from those roses you can buy at the discount stores in bags for less than five dollars. They climb gently over the fence and are a huge jumble of blooms. These roses are the old heritage roses that bloom once a year and when they do, it is beautiful.

I bought the rootstock at least ten years ago and have earned back my money many times over enjoying the beauty of their blooms. They are red, single-leaved with yellow centers. I have another rose bush that climbs and produces variegated pink blooms.

The thing that most distinguishes this rose bush from the others is that it sends out shoots that are 12 feet high. My dad and I wrangled this thing down in the spring and tied it to the fence. Now I noticed the darn thing has thrown out branches at least three feet high. It has thorns like a knife’s blade and you won’t soon forget it if you get one in your finger. 

Yesterday I had Hoadleys bring me mulch. I had not seen their new nursery on North Street yet and was pleasantly surprised. It is beautiful and their prices are very fair and they have some extremely nice mulch. I was given a choice of color and free delivery. I started using it in my beds out back and it is superb; very easy to handle and spread. I am a big fan of utilizing our local businesses. It helps them stay in business, they are friendlier than big box stores and you might actually save a little money by not having to drive to another town.

Wow, have the peonies opened up beautifully this week. They are so full and lush this year, due I’m sure to the fact that spring came so early. The flags, as my great-grandmother called irises, are in full swing and loaded with blooms. I have a variegated variety that I purchased four years ago, because I loved the variegated foliage and every year I wait to see if it will set more than one bloom. This thing is so slow in it’s growth that I will be dead before it reaches any sort of maturity.

My husband Art loves tomatoes. He buys all kinds of varieties every year. While he was putting in our vegetable garden he yelled over to me, “We only have 44 tomato plants, do you think we’ll need more?” Who does he think is going to can all those tomatoes?

The first planting of corn is four inches tall. The peas are going gangbusters and blooming like mad. The potatoes are coming in nicely. Don’t fresh peas and new potatoes sound good?

The green beans, cucumbers and squash go in today. We are planting in hills again. It worked so well last year and we had a very nice harvest. We started putting in a watering system using drip irrigation to make sure everything gets enough.

It is an awesome watering system and conserves water by putting it directly on the plant. It is also very cost effective in that it lowers our water bill and the initial cost for the system was very minimal. It is not terribly environmentally friendly in that it is made from plastics and I do not like that aspect. Hopefully it does not break down fast and we can use it for many years. Come to think of it, what’s it going to do, spring a leak? Well darn, we’ll just have to plant one more tomato start where the leak is. That should make Art happy. 

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.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.

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