Gardener's Grapevine 2013.05.01

Written by David Green.

Rain, rain go away, because I’m already sick of mowing the lawn. I was afraid this week we were going to have to rent a tractor and hay mower. It was all our mower could do to cut the lawn, while last week it wasn’t even completely green yet.

As I write this, Art and I are taking a little road trip to Whitehouse, Ohio, to see some friends. All the spring flowers are in high  bloom, which is a little surprising since we had such cold weather last week.

We passed a house in Assumption that has a large landscaped bed out front and it was ringed all the way around with purple hyacinths, and planted behind and staggered between the hyacinths were bunches of daffodils in a bright, sunny yellow. Quite a stunning display. I love the flowers in the spring but rarely think about them when it’s time to plant them in the fall. Therefore, we have very few spring flowers at our house.

Has anyone noticed their butterfly bushes leafing out? They really shouldn’t be as it’s too early. They should wake up about the same time as the Rose of Sharon bushes. All three of my butterfly bushes have leaves on them and I find it odd. The Rose of Sharon, which we have an entire fence row of, are still dormant. My hydrangea is also leafing out. That is one plant I think is absolutely beautiful. It doesn’t matter what color or type they are, I love them all. I feed them acid, but not in abundance as I really don’t care if the flowers are blue or pink.

Our magnolia tree is blooming again, but that is suppose to bloom when the spring flowers do so it is right on time. We have the strangest magnolia. It looks more like a bush than a tree. It will have a huge showy bloom in the spring and then continue to bloom sporadically with a few blooms until fall. It is not supposed to do this, but who am I to complain? I will take any kind of flowers anytime even from an identity challenged tree that thinks it’s a bush.

The raspberries have just gone crazy in the last week. They are covered in leaves and the new volunteer shoots are about four inches tall. I know someone down south who would like some raspberry plants so I’m going to try shipping some to them. I thought if I wrap the starts in wet paper towel and put them in plastic bags they might make it. What’s to loose in trying when the plants are free?

The raspberries we grow are the big, fat, red variety and they produce early summer and late fall. We also have a few heritage raspberries which are small and black and produce once a year. They are both good, but mixed together they are excellent. I can't wait to bake a pie or make some crisp. This extra long winter needs to go away and let spring take over.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.
  • 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.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.

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