Gardener's Grapevine 2013.01.02

Written by David Green.

Happy New Year! A new year means so many things to everyone. To a gardener it means a blank slate, a new start. Everything is asleep and below the ground so when you look out over your gardens you can start a new plan for the New Year.

Art and I have changed up our gardens more times than I can think of. We have one out back that is slowly getting an overhaul as one plant decided to become the dominant plant. No thank you, you’re out of here.

It’s called feverfew and is used in medicine. It’s beautiful in arrangements when it blooms—small compact white flowers like tiny mums on long stems that grow bush-like. The problem arrived in the fact that it spreads on the wind. That would be OK if a few new plants popped up, but that doesn’t happen every year. The first year it looked a little sparse—two or three plants among my roses, pretty. Second year, lots of plants scattered in my roses, beautiful! Third to fifth year….holy farm crop, where’s the pharmaceutical company? Now after five years out of control and being pulled back in to shape.

There are many invasive plants out there that on a small scale are gorgeous, but can become very overly aggressive quickly. If you don’t know your plants you can be in a nightmare mess within a few years. Art has suffered through a lot of my bad plant choices and since his hip is bad the rest of the family now gets pulled in to help mom with the “mistakes.”

Some invasive plants include feverfew, mint, coneflower, many herbs and anything that develops a multi-seeded head like my ultimate enemy—dandelions! 

There are many ways to spend a cold winter day of free time. I enjoy curling up with a stack of seed/plant catalogs or my computer, cup of tea, warm blanket and gardening notebook. Remember the notebook? I keep one all year long and it is not a nice tidy thing. It has dirt fingerprints, scribbles and sloppily jotted notes. Who wants to stop and write when they are playing in dirt? This habit has paid off in the past. My current problem is time. In the past two years I have been working at an extremely demanding job and my time to spend working in my gardens is limited. If I could win the lottery I would have the most outstanding gardens ever. Since I rarely buy tickets I will keep plucking at the regular Joe’s gardens (no pun intended).

So here we go with the planning, in the spring I like to give my extra plants to other people and it is pretty much a first-come, first-served basis. If you are around beware, I share!  Actually if you see me in the garden stop in and I’ll set you up with whatever I am thinning out.

What are your new year’s ideas in the garden? Whatever it is, don’t forget to share…now who wants some feverfew?

  • 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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