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.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.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    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

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