Gardener's Grapevine 2013.03.13

Written by David Green.

It’s a beautiful Sunday, and has been a beautiful weekend through and through. Yesterday Art and I went with our daughter Jacquie and son-in-law Henry to Detroit for baby furniture at Ikea. Prior to going to this giant store we made a few side stops for the fun of it and to fill our tummies.

Art and I watch a show on Saturdays called Under the Radar Michigan on PBS and in one episode they covered places to see in and around Detroit. One place was Motz’s Burgers on Fort Street. This is one of the oldest sliders restaurants in the country and did it ever live up to its reputation as the best! They serve more than sliders and it is so worth the trip. According to our group it was in a “bad area," but everyone we encountered was nice and the food was great.

Across the street was an enormous produce distribution plant. It was crazy big, as in one building was as big as our entire downtown area. With the lineup of semi-trucks and panel trucks it must have an amazing amount of produce inside. Just thinking of the growers behind all that produce made me smile. Think of the trip each head of lettuce has taken and the trip it still has until someone eats it. For being in a forlorn section of Detroit, the building did not look unclean and it had some lovely art deco stonework on the front. Eating sliders and thinking of gardening—can it get better?

We also visited a little place in Farmington Hills called Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum. It was awesome, also—one man’s collection of arcade and whimsical animated figures and machines. They included old arcade flip book picture machines, all kinds of arcade games from the 1800s forward and you could put in a quarter or two and see how they worked. It was a real trip back in time.

We then headed to Ikea and what a change. From old items that took lots of brain power to produce and make functional to the sparse commercialism of mass marketed items. Ikea has a gardening area and if you are in the market for some inexpensive, fairly good quality outdoor furniture or flower pots or things along that line, it is your go-to destination. I am not a big fan of mass production garden products. I like to repurpose or use artistic items. I stood in their garden area and thought, anyone could have a tidy neat little garden with this, but where would the individuality be?

I loved that my kids chose baby furniture that was not just in the baby section and had a bit of non-baby flare to it. The little fellow can grow with it, and with good care, take it with him when he heads off to his own place.

I spent some time last evening on the drive home thinking how yesterday’s castoffs still have meaning and use. I have had the idea for a long time to make a bench for the outside of our church out of an old bed frame. We have an area that is hard to get anything to grow in because the heat is so extreme off the concrete and sandstone. So an ornate place to sit is just the ticket, with maybe a pot of flowers off to the side that can be replenished without breaking the bank. Since I have come up with this idea I have seen so many swings and benches made from old beds.

I searched on-line for more repurposing ideas and came up with some great sites that might interest some of you that read this column. Try eHowhome and type in making garden décor from recycled junk, or homeguides.sfgate.com/reusehouseholditems, thefrugalhomemaker.com and of course the Queen of all idea sites, Pinterest.

Gardening should be fun and while the muddy spring rains and thaws keep us from the dirt, spend some time looking for an idea you can use to pop your space.

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    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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