Gardener's Grapevine 2012.06.06

Written by David Green.

As many of you know, Sunday afternoon is my time to sit down and write this column. This has been an absolutely, beautiful day. A little windy but that just kept us from getting too warm in the sunshine.

After church Art and I decided to take a little road trip over to the Fulton County Fairgrounds and see what the Gem and Mineral show was all about. We had talked to some folks from the society up at the depot and learned that they do this quite large show every year. It was well worth the trip and a nice little sideline to our Sunday. We saw rocks and gems from all over the world and learned about faceting and polishing. It is amazing how different rocks can be.

Now I know this is a gardening column and I stretch gardening into nature in general. Most gardeners are nature lovers and it extends beyond their own yards. I would encourage you next year to go check out this show. It is free and very interesting. There is also a lot of jewelry on sale.

I never gave rocks a whole lot of time or thought until my son was three or four. He loved rocks like no one I’d ever met. He’d ask me what a certain rock was and questions regarding it. So I kind of got interested by proxy as many of us do who have kids. I got really into using them in the garden was about six years ago. I had gone on a trip with the garden club and seen rocks used in landscaping. Rocks of any size can be quite costly and it is even more so if you plan to use them to any great extent.

I was out at my grandmother’s doing gardening with my aunt in the spring and noticed lots of rocks in the fields. I was told they come up in the spring due to ground heave and if they are very big they can cause huge damage to the farmers’ equipment. That is why you see large rock piles beside fields every so often. They dig them out and pile them up.

This got me to thinking that if the farmers didn’t want them and I did, maybe I could go collect them and use them to landscape with. At the time, Art and I had started tossing around the idea of putting in a small stream at the back of our property. So we started walking the unplanted fields and harvesting rocks. It’s a good idea to ask first, which I did, and the answer was always the same, “If you pick them up I won’t have to.”

Well, welcome to the back-breaking free rock business, and it is very interesting. We found rocks of all shapes and colors, and even a few that Art looked at me and said, “No, Jo that one will break my back lifting it.” I drag my husband on some really crazy trips and into my ideas, and he always goes along even if a bit begrudgingly. When he says “No,” it is usually wise to move on.

Long story short, our rock landscaping is very beautiful and I still like to go get rocks in the spring. My back is not so crazy about it though.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.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.
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