Gardener's Grapevine 2013.04.24

It has been my experience that most gardeners also have at least one pet of some kind. If you’ve read along with this column since I started writing it, you would recognize our lab, Kisses.

This was no ordinary dog. She was a gardening buddy. She would go to the church with me to work in the Sunday school room, work on the landscaping or set up for the bazaar. She went to the recycling center to harass Laurie. She followed anyone who walked by our house to see if they needed company, and more than once someone would come up to me as I worked and ask if this dog was ours. Yes, she was ours, but also anyone who came to visits.

She would dig holes if I dug one to plant something and she picked her own tomatoes and ears of corn. She talked like Scooby Doo. If you asked her where she wanted to go she’d say “I wront row” (I don’t know) and make everyone laugh. She loved everyone she met and it didn’t matter if they were friend or not.

This past Thursday Kisses became incredibly ill and passed. I not only lost my garden buddy, I lost a fabulous friend. It is amazing how close an animal can get to you and how incredibly smart they can be. Who would guess that a dog would like tomatoes, or apples and pears straight from the tree? That an animal would learn to pick their own.

If you have never had a pet for a companion, it is time to find out what it's like. They give so much more than they take; no one will love you or follow you with such devotion.

I have had many garden buddies from a Flemish Giant rabbit that weighed around 20 pounds named Buddy, to our dogs and even the outside cats.

An animal makes life so much more interesting. They also do some of the craziest things you could ever imagine, like digging up what you just planted or eating a large amount of your harvest. Kisses was one in a million and we will miss her dearly and part of her is still everywhere we look.

​On that note, I got a very decent start in the garden this week. Wednesday I planted three shrub rosebushes that can get up to 12 feet tall. I also did a little raspberry pruning and my silly lab stuck her face in them and looked at me like ouch you could have told me those bite. I had to laugh. Who knew she’d want to see what I was doing that closely. Art and I cleaned up the strawberry bed and transplanted strawberry plants. We also planted a lot of onions in with the strawberry beds as they are companion plants. I had two onions from the house that were growing so they were popped in along with the sets we purchased. I also moved some onions from the flower bed out front. Not sure how they got there but I get a lot of plants  that I didn’t put in. I just consider them bonus plants.

Every day I take a trip around the gardens and check out the changes that seem to occur overnight. Spring is my favorite season because it’s so awesome to see everything come back from a long sleep. By the way, the darn peas still aren’t in...maybe tomorrow. Hey, cut me some slack. I had to say goodbye to my best gardening friend. Sleep well my Kisses until we meet again.

  • Front.web
    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
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    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.