Gardener's Grapevine 2013.11.13

This past weekend I attended the Yuletide festivities in Blissfield. I go every year and it is a lot of fun. This year I had the pleasure of taking my five-month old grandson, Max. It may not seem like an ideal situation to some, but Max is not your typical five-month-old.

Max has never been any type of typical since he was born. I know everyone is thinking, spoken like a grandma, but I am an ob/gyn nurse and I see lots of kids every day. He sat in his stroller and looked around at everything and smiled at everyone who spoke to him, then took a little nap. Even his trip to Santa and the Mrs. went well. He liked all the decorations with pretty colors and the elves in front of the antique mall.

This celebration gets me in the holiday mood every year. It is so early in the holiday season that it works like a boot to the butt to get me in high gear cleaning up for winter and getting the outside holiday décor up. Getting everything up and complete outside prior to really cold weather is always a plus.

Sunday afternoon Art and I cleaned up the porches and back yard. We started sorting out the mess that was a nice garden and got everything stored away for winter. In our back yard is a McIntosh apple tree that produces very nice apples. Normally these would be made into applesauce and apple butter, but this year Art did not get it sprayed and I didn’t trust the apples.

The squirrels make off with a lot of the fruit, still more falls in the lawn that we have to clean up. Some people would think this was a nasty job, but not really. The ripe, sometimes rotting fruit, is not unpleasant. It smells sweet and is easier to rake up than crabapples.

Many of the perennials have gotten frosted, so the hedge clippers got quite a workout. Since we have no city clean up anymore, Art and I have had to adjust our composting to accommodate cornstalks, leaves and plant stalks. The bonfire pit gets all the sticks, and I love toasted marshmallows, so that’s not too bad a thing it’s just a lot of work.

While Art was cleaning up the garden he said he was excited for next summer so his “little buddy” (Max) can help him in the garden. Obviously he has forgotten what a toddler does in the garden. They pull everything out and pick unripe veggies. Yea, Art, for getting excited. We shall see how that works out for him.

I love being a grandmother, but I have not forgotten all the years of assistance from my own children. Our daughter was 22 before she wanted anything to do with gardening. I really think starting kids out with container gardening is a good thing. Containers limit the space they have to run amuck.

One last note in connection with my earlier comments on the holidays, if you have a gardener on your list now is a great time to get clearance prices on some super nice garden tools like gloves and containers. Any gardener loves to get those really nice pruners that are a tad too pricey in the spring, but are 50 to 80 percent off now. Just a little idea if you need a gift: get a nice planter, fill it with gardening goodies, and you have an exceptional gift at a decent price. The holidays are smiling at us, and on a little side note, there is one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, so get moving!