Gardener's Grapevine 2012.07.04

Written by David Green.

Sunday afternoon finds me on the side porch in a wicker chair with a glass of lemonade and a passed out old labrador at my feet. It’s hot and so is she.

I love laptop computers, you can take them anywhere. Art is working on the arbor and gates to our new garden fence. Delight Gillen told me she didn’t like my new fence because she couldn’t see my vegetable garden. I think that was the point in putting it up and to keep a vegetable-stealing lab (who especially likes tomatoes) out of it.

What a hard summer it has been so far for our gardens. We have two apple trees and they are dropping their fruit from lack of rain. Being an OB nurse, it reminds me of when a pregnant woman is dehydrated, and it will actually cause her to go into labor as her body tries to preserve itself. Basically the tree is doing the same thing. It is so stressed it drops its fruit in an effort to save itself. I’m not seeing this action in the pear tree, however its fruit is turning color much earlier this year.

Art and I went to our favorite Chinese restaurant Saturday in Swanton. As we were driving the back roads I was looking the fields and yards over. The wheat is mostly in now. A few farmers were finishing up as we went by, but for the most part even the straw was baled. It was a beautiful harvest—big full heads all golden colored.

It is not, however, going to be a good year for the corn for some farmers. We saw corn tasseled out that was only two to three feet tall. Some of it was beginning to burn and dry up, others had leaves very tightly curled and pointed skyward like it was begging for a drink. Art and I were commenting about how hard it will be for the farmers if the corn is poor. I know our area is the beginning of the corn belt, but it isn’t much better west of here either. A poor yield will drive food costs up yet again and that includes the meat animals that eat the corn. The cost of ethanol fuel will also rise.

Art and I water our gardens, but not the yard. I can’t see watering something that comes back no matter what happens unless it’s actually set on fire. Does it not amaze you how our yards can be rock hard dry and the buckhorn is as green and healthy as ever? It’s kind of like life, the things we cherish and want to be around often wear out or leave, and those we wish would leave are around forever. I don’t know which of Murphy’s laws that is, but it must be one of them.

I have a butterfly bush I planted probably ten years ago and it throws babies every year. I’ve given away many of them. If I untied that bush I bet it would be six feet or better across. When another butterfly bush popped up this spring on the corner of the side porch, I assumed it was a baby of my other bush. I didn’t really want it there, but it wasn’t hurting anything so I left it. This week it started blooming and has the largest blooms I’ve ever seen. They are at least a foot long. My other bushes produce blooms about four to six inches long. It is a very nice bush so it can stay.

As I sit here, the hummingbirds are very busy at my hanging baskets. They move so rapidly that if you didn’t know what they were you would miss them.

  • 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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