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.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.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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