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.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.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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