Gardener's Grapevine 2012.10.17

Written by David Green.

Last Saturday our entire family went to Cincinnati for our nephew Jake’s wedding. It was the most unusual wedding I have ever been to. It was held at Krohn Conservatory. Since we had never been there we were not sure where we were going or what to expect, but it was more than any of us expected.

I’m not really sure what the property originally was used for, but we did find out the greenhouses were started in the 1930s. The main greenhouse was a two story and had five additional greenhouses attached to it. The main greenhouse where the wedding was held had a waterfall that fell from the highest part of the ceiling over rocks and into a pool that emptied into a stream that flowed throughout the greenhouse.

Tropical plants grew all around in abundance, and some of the palms were over 20 feet tall. It was pretty amazing. Throughout the entire wedding you could hear the water falling behind the bride and groom. Water falling over rocks or crashing to the shore has to be one of the most beautiful sounds ever. After dinner in the butterfly greenhouse we could tour the other three.

I have no idea where the butterflies went during our use of their room, but I didn’t see any and we were in there quite a while and it was plenty warm enough for them to be out. There was, however, an interesting fruit tree in one corner full of cantaloupe-sized fruit. It was called an ugly fruit tree. The fruit didn’t seem too ugly to me; I guess it’s a matter of opinion. 

There was a tree behind our table that had a name I couldn’t pronounce, but it looked all gnarled, had few leaves and stringy looking moss hanging off it like grey hair. We all laughed because the trunk looked like a wrinkled up face.

One of the other greenhouses had very old bonsai trees in many different varieties. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen bonsais quite that old. Another greenhouse held every orchid you could ever imagine. I don’t know much at all about orchids except they are fragile and interesting to look at. Supposedly there was an orchid that smelled like chocolate. I smelled it and all I got was the smell of dirt. Either my sense of smell has gone south or somebody has an active imagination.

The fourth greenhouse had desert plants which translated to cacti. This room was interesting. Everything I looked at had thorns in many varying sizes. There was a tree in that room that had thorns all around its trunk in a swirling pattern and rows about an inch apart. The boughs of the tree had millions of thorns in tight succession all along them. I think we found the perfect squirrel-proof place for a bird feeder! The cacti room gave me a kind of futuristic creepy sense. I am glad I don’t have to spend much time in there. 

The fifth greenhouse was supposed to be like the Amazon and it was really neat. There was a pomegranate tree with baseball-sized pomegranates hanging on it. The cocoa bean tree did smell like chocolate and in the center of this greenhouse was a banyan tree of some size. Now, banyan trees I know about. We go to the John and Mabel Ringling museums in Sarasota, Fla., and they have huge banyans that are very old. Banyans are interesting in that they send out aerial roots that hang down and start growing into the ground. These form limbs that are like another tree trunk, and really odd looking. The largest banyan I ever saw was Thomas Edison’s at his Fort Meyers laboratory. It is as big as an entire parking lot and still growing! Apparently the banyan in the greenhouse got frequent hair cuts as there was a very tall ladder leaned against the tree.

If you ever have time to kill in Cincinnati, I would recommend you check out the Krohn Conservatory.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • 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.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.
  • Front.drum
    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.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    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.
  • 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
  • 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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