Gardener's Grapevine 2013.05.22

Written by Steve Lauber.

This week I learned something I never thought I would need to know: you cannot flush dandelions down the toilet. Apparently they refuse to go down and won’t let anything else go down either.

I can start out by saying I dislike dandelions very much, they stress me out. One plant can populate into a hundred in no time. When I see those fuzzy white heads blowing in the wind I feel my blood pressure beginning to rise as I envision them choking out what I really want in my beds. I dislike them so much my husband has turned it into a family joke.

Today when we went to church I walked past the landscaping and groaned, damn dandelions in with the perinnials. Is it a sin to say damn when you are attempting to beautify your church yard? Well, damn damn damn…those things gotta go.

My wonderfully loving husband gave up part of his only day off to help me plant the flowers at the church, and of course get rid of the cursed dandelions. The plants look great, but one has to wonder, does all that mulch really break down? The year before last we put down nearly an entire skid of mulch and most of it is MIA. I know a certain amount gets swept away by various things such as rain, wind and leaf blowers, but there's a lot that is going to need some TLC.

Art and I are two very busy people with less than 20 years until retirement. You would think our ducks would be in more of a row. We both work a lot of hours and work on gardening, home and hobbies the rest of the time.

Tomorrow we will begin a new chapter in our lives, as our first grandchild will be born. He is due to come into this world via surgery, so he is a little more planned than we had thought he would be. We are very thrilled to see our family grow as we all know family is everything and ours is incredibly close.

New babies are a lot like new species of garden plants. We don’t quite know what they will look like and the anticipation is a killer. I have no problem with buying a new type of plant and throwing it in my beds. If it turns out to be a dud or invasive, I rip it out and toss it. I guess they’re not exactly like babies as we have no intention of throwing our grandson out if he isn’t up to snuff in the looks department. As with all families, we will just pray he improves with age. I can write that because both his parents were and are beautiful babies and adults.

I know he will be a keeper.

Hope he likes to garden because this grammie is an outdoors kind of grammie.

This child comes into the world with a lot of people waiting to hold and love him as do many babies. I wish I could feel even a little of that for those damn dandelions. Oh yeah, and if you want to know more about flushing dandelions, the local expert lives on Sims Highway. I heard he’s a pretty good plumber, too!

  • 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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