Archive for June, 2018

Photo Friday

Gail sends us more photos from the field trip to Leila Arboretum:

Entry into Leila Arboretum

Ash tree garden carvings

Gazebo…can you see the hot air balloon in the background?

Chestnut tree seed pod showing one of four seeds inside

Flower of the Black swallow-wort

Within the children’s garden is a worm box

Our docent was able to show this closeup of a worm egg

We found this stature within the boughs of a clearing, under some arborvitae

A bench at the end of the grape arbor

Two girls with a flower rope

This large clematis bloom caught my eye

Within the Community Garden section where the Burmese community member do their gardening. It was interesting and we were fortunate that there was a gardener there who did tell of some of their techniques

This is the building where they hold their Farmer’s Market

This structure is one of several sculptures. It represents the earth, wind and circle that is life. Created in 1981 it was downtown then moved here to the arboretum in 1996. A time capsule is buried beneath it.


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As we close in on our first full year with the Agriculture program here at Monroe County Community College in partnership with Michigan State University’s Institute of Agricultural Technology, I would like to give a quick update and ask for your continued support of the program. As a brief review, students take 34 credits of the MSU Ag classes, and then 26 credits of general education and electives through MCCC, giving the student an Associates of Applied Science in Agriculture. All of the MSU courses are taught at Monroe, with a mix of face-to-face and online courses. I’ve provided links below to the program flyer and website that contain further information about the opportunities in agriculture and how to apply to the program. This short video clip also shows the opportunities that are available as well: YouTube – Career Options at the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology

There are currently eight returning students, plus an additional four new students joining for the Fall semester so far. Six of the current students are currently completing their required internship and are experiencing the wide variety of opportunities associated with the agriculture industry, with a few even getting job offers already! There has been great community support for the program, and I currently have a donor offering a limited number of generous scholarships to any new students coming into the program this Fall. In addition, Monroe County Farm Bureau and the Monroe County Fair have offered generous scholarships, as well as the numerous MCCC scholarships available to incoming students. We also have the MCCC Community Farm underway with the grant secured by President Kojo Quartey, and a variety of research test plots in the field north of the MCCC campus. Please feel free to stop out and take a look around, and also keep an eye out for information on our first MCCC Field Day in early September!

As you can see there are exciting things happening here at your community college. We appreciate your help and support in bringing this agriculture program to our community.

I am once again asking for your assistance to spread the word to potential students! We can accept students until August 10th for the Fall 2018 semester, so please share this information with any interested individual you may know!

Agricultural Operations Program

Agricultural Program Flyer

Please contact me anytime with your thoughts or questions, or to hear about the opportunities available to students who complete the program.


Andrew McCain
Program Coordinator
Institute of Agricultural Technology
Michigan State University
Monroe County Community College
1555 South Raisinville Road
Monroe, MI. 48161
Office T-121
Phone: 734-384-4155

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I was trimming the dead wood from my Hydrangea by my deck and I kept noticing these orange yellow things flying around…thought they might be lady beetles(didn’t have glasses on)…not red enough for a lady bug. Then as I got closer to my Knockout roses I saw that all the leaves were eaten off the plant. Thought maybe a Japanese beetle at work. I didn’t see any in that area. Today I noticed one of my new roses I planted had 3 blooms on it. I wanted a closer look at them. I noticed at the top leaves were eaten away, similar to those of the Knockout rose. Then a few stems down…here is what I found:

leaf-feeding larvae

Sawfly adult feeding on pollen

I picked that cluster of leaves off and fed the larvae to my pond fish. With a quick inspection, I see no additional in that immediate area. Although, I’m sure I need to watch vigilantly. I walked over to another new rose and saw this:

Well sawflies are the culprit. So now to take care of them. I just recently saw an article to be on the look out. Eggs will hatch in 2-8 weeks after the fly deposits them (They deposit them in the soil in spring). Of course seeing the larvae, I can assume they’ve hatched. However, it might be a continual process. Most likely the white spots on the leaves and holes in the photo are damage due to larvae.

So in reading, I find that insecticidal soap or spinosad, an organic substance made by a soil bacterium. It can be toxic to insects . Some insects have become immune to spinosad and it should be used as a last resort. I just happen to have purchased some at the beginning of the season. I will use it as a backup after first trying to spray and pick them away. I wanted to share this just in case someone else is seeing these signs. I hope not. I will keep you posted on my progress.

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Gail’s request

Thanks for the comment Gail…yes this is the clematis on the side of my house…a few photos for all to understand. These were taken in 2011, just before we toured my garden…it has increased in size and always has tons of blooms.
It’s probably 7 feet tall today… blooms late July early August.

Clematis heracleifolia Mrs. Robert Brydon

The bloom

Currently needing to be trimmed…but this is what it looks like as of today 6/25/18″

As of today June 25, 2018

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Some new Photos

Paul, sent me some photos. He has included his native plantings of Milkweed.

Asclepias incarnata (Swanp Milkweed)

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) 2

Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) 1

Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) 2

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Milkweed) 2

Asclepids tuberosa (Butterfly Milkweed) 1

Last week (while working in Demo Gardens) the Clematis was in bloom and I took some photos:

I have a few I also wanted to share:

This Cone Flower has something in common with me…my middle name. Echinacea Rainbow Marcella… Love the colors!

This is a peach knock out rose

A closer look at the bloom.

My clematis is also in bloom. I wished I knew it’s name. I would love to get another. It blooms from now thru August.

The clematis also looks so nice with the lighter color iris

At the base of the clematis is this daylilly that shares it’s color

Seems I have a lot of purples in bloom. This is the brats on Acanthus mollis ( Bear’s Breeches)

Hosta curly fries along with a miniature rose

Heuchera (coral Bells) This one is Lime Rickey

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Battle Creek Tour
A very enjoyable outing in good company; the trip to Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek on Saturday attended by 22 Master Gardeners, new Horticulture club members and family! We carpooled to the park and gardens practically downtown, and met our docent for the planned tour of their “Kaleidoscope” children’s garden area. She was very well-informed, a dedicated volunteer worker in those gardens, which were obviously way understaffed. It was a good lesson for the Monroe volunteers, how a public garden can become too large and ambitious for the number of interested persons to maintain it. Still, we saw some great plants and ideas. We were there at the perfect time to enjoy the way a cloud of purple smoketree shrubs fit below the full-sized, tethered hot-air balloon, and to enjoy perfect spires of self-seeded straw foxglove scattered among shade and sunny flower gardens. Most of us did not know this plant and debated whether it was a small foxglove or tall penstemon. (A knowledgeable gentleman explains on this web page the difference between it and the more common yellow perennial foxglove which also grew in those gardens, and which, he says, are both related to penstemons. http://www.robsplants.com/plants/digitalis.php)

Besides a large display of very imaginative sculptures made by chainsaw from ash trees killed since 2002 by the Emerald Ash Borer, several whimsical garden benches were similarly carved. There were other delightful plants and creative garden layouts, some disappointingly overgrown.

Sprinkles threatening showers limited our explorations of the larger arboretum after the tour with some opting to visit the Kingman Natural History Museum on the site, while others got dampened in the native wildflower garden and the labyrinth. There, in absence of labels, we taught each other to recognize Leadplant and Rattlesnake Master, among others, saving some puzzles to be solved from cell-phone photos later. Many of us had read about Black Swallowwort, the invasive vine in the milkweed family that is poisonous to monarch caterpillars but no one in the group recognized it until we researched it later from Gail’s good photos.

Then we all had great lunches at Clara’s on the river, which is a super restoration of a classic train depot with many historic items going back to the years when the Post and Kellogg cereal families were very notable in the town.

Anyone know if this is purple moor grass?

We were told this was ribbon grass but it’s more likely Variegated Giant Reed grass


Raised beds

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I wanted to send a reminder for next months tour to Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. We need at least 10 for our guided tours. Currently I have 5. If you are interested please send me an email or comment on this post. I plan to make a car pool list as soon as possible. You can check the calendar page to see the details. Just to go July and click on the date July 21.

Gail informs me that several people mentioned they couldn’t get further information on the Lavender farm in Milan. Many do not have Facebook accounts. Here is a snip-it from the Facebook page and a link to their website as well.

Link: https://www.lavenderlanemi.com/

Milan Lavender Farm:
Lavender Lane

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Photo Friday


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Photo Friday

Gail sends us our Photo Friday:

The Orioles have arrived strutting all their colors

Yummy yummy

I said this one is mine!!!

Red Breasted Grosbeck





And a Snip Snip here and a Snip Snip There…


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Photo Friday

Gail sent us some additional photos from our last meeting:

How well did you pay attention as we walked around the gardens. Did you see these features?? Do you
remember where they were at??????

“Master Gardeners” hanging in a tree

Solomon Seal



Flower of native bulb passted around

Star of Bethlehem flower

female Mallard duck

Paw Paw

Lupine…tricked you….photo was taken from Petersburg Game Preserve

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