Gardener's Grapevine 2012.10.03

Written by David Green.

I am sitting in the dining room visiting with my mother-in-law Betty Erbskorn, who is more like a mother to me, and enjoying a Sunday afternoon catching up. She is a very kind lady and is also a great gardener and talented florist. She is putting together a wreath and some decorative items I intended to use for the office for harvest time. She is doing a far nicer job than I ever could have and my co-workers will be surprised. She worked for Kibler’s Flower Shop for 13 years. She tells some great stories about working there and the things they did. I am blessed to have such a sweet lady in my life, it’s no wonder her son is such a good man.

While she was here she told me she had some hollyhock seeds someone had given to her and wanted to know when to plant them. So we did a little Googling and found out that you can plant them in the fall or spring depending on when you want to. Planting in the fall gets a good solid root system going. Hollyhocks can stand colder temperatures and while other plants are going dormant they are sprouting and laying down strong systems. The following spring there will be strong sprouts and the stalks will grow more quickly because of the already developed root systems and the blooms will develop from there. The articles also said it was fine to plant them in the spring too, except most of the growing season will be spent in setting down the main root systems and there won’t be many blooms. The second year it will be loaded with blooms.

Hollyhocks are an old flower that came here with early settlers. I made the mistake of planting every color of hollyhock when we moved here. The mistake is that the darker colors dominate and eventually that will be all you have. For a few years mine were pretty then I planted a black one…novelty always grabs me…and all I get now are deep purple flowers that look very black. They’re not so pretty, but they’re extremely hardy.

Hollyhocks do not spread as fast as some perennials​ like morning glory. We fenced the yard in when the children were small to keep the dog in along with the kids. The dog stayed in the fence but not the children, they climbed over about as soon as we got it all up. Our current dog climbs over it and goes with whomever happens to walk by. I had the crazy idea to plant morning glories to hide the chain link from Main Street. I bought a lot of packages of seeds and planted them. Well, the kids are adults living on their own and I am still pulling out morning glories from everywhere possible. Unless you don’t care how crazy they go I would suggest not planting them. Left unattended in a few years I’m quite sure it would be hard to find our house under the vines.

Any time someone offers you a plant they want to get rid of, ask questions, like why? What does it do? How fast does it multiply? That way when you can’t find the dog for all the vines you can only blame yourself!

  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
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    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
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    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
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    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
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    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
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
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