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.

  • 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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