Gardener's Grapevine 2013.03.27

Written by David Green.

Well, here we are again, Sunday afternoon. I’m lounging on the couch writing this and watching Red Neck Comedy tour, the Movie. First of all I didn’t know they made a movie; second, I’m sitting here thinking: if you might be a redneck if you mow your lawn and find a car, would you plant flowers?

I don’t know anyone with a lawn that could hide a car, but if I did why would they plant flowers or a garden if they don’t care about the yard? I’m pretty sure appearances are not going to be a priority, and a flower is not going to survive in a forest of grass anyway.

A few weeks ago I wrote about lawn décor from found or repurposed items. I did not mean refrigerators, cars or living room furniture. Today I saw a yard with a lot of old farm items for décor and it was very nicely done. They had a wagon wheel on each side of the drive and old hand-driven plows with landscaping around them in the yard. It was beautiful as they had a large lot so it did not overwhelm.

I was reading a magazine this week that was talking about unusual items to use for plant containers and they used old galvanized tubs and watering cans that weren’t able to hold water anymore without leakage. It said that if you place it in a garden it won’t matter if water leaks out because the ground will soak it up and it will have great drainage. I thought, what if you wanted it on a deck or porch? Then I thought why not do like I do the hanging baskets and line it with plastic bags that are under the lip so no one sees them: no leakage but all the old look style. If you do this you absolutely have to put some rock or such in the bottom to let the water escape the roots. Plants do not like wet feet.

I also read a new idea to keep invasive plants contained without putting them in above-ground containers. I have read a lot of ideas for this and most do not work, but I think this one might. It said to dig a hole deep enough to bury a five gallon bucket all but the top two inches. Put a five gallon bucket in it and fill in the dirt around it but not all the way to the lip. Fill the bucket with fresh soil and then plant the invasive plant in it.

I forgot to mention it needs to be a below-ground invasive plant like mint. The idea is that the roots can grow down or sideways but only go to the edge of the bucket and no farther. Because of the lip being above the ground it can’t crawl over either. I rather like this idea and will probably give it a try with my mint. If you no longer want the plant you just pull the bucket out and bye-bye plant.

I really like to try other people’s ideas and see if they work. I hope to see some innovative ideas in gardens around town this year.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • 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.

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