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Gardener's Grapevine 2015.09.10

on . Posted in Gardener's Grapevine

By JO ERBSKORN

This past weekend flew by, as all holiday weekends seem to. We went to Miner Lake on Saturday to see some friends, one of whom was home from the Navy. It always fascinates me when I listen to a serviceman/woman talk about their job. I’m pretty sure most people aren’t aware of the sacrifices and long hours that are spent just doing their assigned job to keep us all safe.

The person I was visiting is on a Navy battle destroyer—15 hour shifts, and the average temperature is 120 degrees due to the radar. He spends six to eight months at a time away from his family. This person loves what he does even though it sounded tortuous to me. So when you are out and about and a service person is around, thank them. They are sacrificing far more than the average working person. 

While at the lake, we noticed a sad site. Where there was once big beautiful trees lining the edge of the lake, big stumps now stand in a long sad row. I have been to this site many times in the past and knew these beautiful trees were there. I asked what happened to them and found out they were ash trees and the ash borer killed every one of them, traveling from one tree to the next. It’s sad, as they were beautiful old trees. That insect has, and continues to, cause a lot of havoc in many trees.

I was at The Anderson’s store last Friday and noticed all the fall bulbs are out. I purchased some tulips that are a velvety dark red. Hopefully, I can remember to plant them. I have a big issue with buying bulbs and forgetting about them, and it’s quite a waste of money. I usually find them in the spring all dried out and useless.

I can't believe summer is over. It was so rainy it seemed like a prolonged spring with a few days of summer at the end. I don’t tolerate the heat for long periods of time, but I do like the summer months.

I came across an interesting website this week called 4 Seasons Gardening. It presents a series of webinars based on gardening in all four seasons. The first is on weed control and looks interesting. I think I'm going to register for the classes. The address is www.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs/4 seasons.

Other upcoming topics include vegetative propagation and abiotic plant problems on landscape plants. The University of Illinois Extension has some very good online classes and information. I have read many of their articles in the past. Michigan State University Extension has a great web page, also.

I was out in the herb garden this afternoon getting some parsley for the homemade ravioli I was making and noticed the basil is overgrown and in dire need of harvesting. I quess I know what I will be doing after work this week. Is there anything as good on fresh cooked pasta as fresh basil pesto? It’s so nice in the winter to throw some pesto on fresh cooked pasta, add a little chicken, and dinner is ready.

If you are stripping basil stems, make sure to wear gloves unless black hands are an accessory you’d like to sport.

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