Gardener's Grapevine 2013.06.26

As I sit here on the front porch writing this, Art and I have just returned from the most wonderful weekend. Art planned a secret weekend trip to celebrate our anniversary. We went to Greenfield Village in Dearborn and stayed at the Dearborn Inn. The inn was built across from the Dearborn airport which is next to the village and museum.

The inn is probably the most interesting place I’ve ever stayed. It is a mix of buildings with the main building being of the Georgian style. Behind the inn are cottages that I thought were pretty cool if an entire family were staying there. On closer inspection, we discovered the cottages are divided into individual units. These cottages are all different building styles and the landscaping matches the style of the cottage. What a beautiful site they were. The entire complex is very tastefully, but lavishly, landscaped.

One thing I noticed at the village and the inn is that none of the horticulture is marked to identify it. Art took some nice pictures of some interesting specimens that I want to take to the garden club to see if anyone can identify them.

I saw a chestnut tree with the chestnuts about an inch big.

Another nifty thing we saw were the kitchen gardens. Some of the homes had kitchen gardens that were actually planted for use in the village. All the gardens had support fences made from twigs and twine. Apparently they cut branches from trees just after a fork in the branch. This is then buried in the ground with the forked end up in the air, and another of the same is at the other end of the row and a long non-forked branch is balanced between the forks and latched down with twine. Twine is run down randomly from the branch running crossways. Beans and climbing vegetables climb up the strings. It was a great way to corral the plants and easy to harvest. It’s going to be given a try here I’m sure. Art and I love to try new things in the garden just for the heck of it.

Looking at these old homes and buildings makes me realize how truly blessed we all are. So many times people feel unfortunate because they don’t have this or that or live in a big fancy house or just don’t appreciate what they do have. There was a house that was wallpapered on every wall with newspapers to insulate it and the ceilings were all covered in cardboard. It was what was easily available and the family had little cash to live on. It was a nice house, but simple. That family was just happy to have a warm place to call home. Food in their bellies and a warm place to live was of the utmost importance. They could grow, raise and preserve their own food and even save seed for the following year to plant. So many people now are unhappy because they don’t have the latest gadgets. It does make one stop and think.