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.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.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • 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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