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.

  • 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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