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.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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016