Gardener's Grapevine 2013.05.15

Written by David Green.

What a great weekend this turned out to be. I came home from work on Friday night to a beautifully mowed lawn, compliments of my son-in-law, Henry. My nine months pregnant daughter is on restrictions until she delivers next Monday due to complications with her pregnancy, so she was enjoying a lawn chair out back in the afternoon sun.

We were surprised with the arrival of our son Nick, home for Mother’s Day from Michigan State where he is staying to work and take classes this summer. Both Jacquie and Nick took me to Schmidlin’s greenhouse to get a Mother's Day gift. It has become our tradition since they were little. Art would take us all to get something when they were little, then as they grew they slowly did it on their own.

One of my favorite memories is of my son when he was still not allowed to go around town on his bike without us. He rode uptown and purchased a very tall lily with his allowance and rode home with it. Talk about a conundrum: Do you give them the devil for disobeying the rules or hug him for the thoughtful gift? That lily is still coming up in the back yard and I still love it and its memory.

A few years back the kids decided they had no idea what I could possibly need in the garden and started taking me to the greenhouse to pick out what I’d like. I really enjoy this trip with my kids. We not only buy my gifts, but we discuss the different plants and decorative items. We look at the seeds and talk about what we like to plant and eat.

This year Schmidlin’s has an area for fairy gardens, and they even have one set up. They offer different items for sale to put in miniature gardens such as trellises, fences, and adorable miniature versions of plants such as mini hostas, cannas, grasses and a few succulents.

My son is one of the few people in our family that has never really cared for gardening. He likes to eat what comes out of it and he did a 4-H project one summer and worked up a small area and put in a little flower garden. Once he got his grade on it he never paid any more attention to it. When we were in the greenhouse this weekend, he was totally fascinated with the fairy garden and decided he wanted to try his hand at it. I have often thought I’d like to try it. So guess what I got as a Mother’s Day gift? Fairy plants and a miniature hosta to start my own garden.

Many people have gotten the bug for fairy gardening, some are very small in little containers and others are large and complicated affairs. Becky Schermerhorn has a large, very interesting fairy garden at her house is so interesting you could sit and look at it for an hour.

When I had some quiet time to myself last night I Googled fairy gardens and what a lot of things came up. One thing that amazed me was the amount of items you can purchase and the cost. There are fairy houses—well, actually fairy mansions—for over $300. Don’t you think that’s a little excessive? I did, and where is the creativity? 

My son is going to make one, and since he lives in a co-op at Michigan State he’s going to call it his Gnome–op and use Gnomes instead of fairies in his garden. Both he and I agree it will be way more inventive to design and build our own houses. If you have a little time to spare, Google fairy gardens and check it out for yourself.

  • 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.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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016