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?

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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