Archive for August, 2018

Paul’s Garden Tour

Photo & story by Gail K.
Paul’s & Gerard’s river garden tour 8-18-18
It was a beautiful August day with a gentle breeze and sunny skies. I went about an hour before the tour to offer help; by doing so I also hoped to beat the rising heat, humidity

Stanley greeted me as I entered the vegetable garden.

Paul soon joined me. Paul has certified his yard as wildlife habitat. He is also seeking
certification from the Wild Ones assoc.

native bed in the front entry which included some native grasses, dock and
native bittersweet……………..

Since I was early, Paul & Gerard treated me to an elevated view of the vista!!! Ok
I’m impressed, as if I already wasn’t. From the 2nd story porch, I enjoyed a panoramic view-
clearly seeing the structure of the garden beds & paths.

As Paul readied for the tour, I trekked off for the short time I had left. Now in the backyard along the river, I was greeted by this squirrel who just sat there
posing for me.
Here are some views of the river from the backyard………so relaxing

Hearing car doors I return to the front entry-I find Chris and Gerard deep in
discussion on vegetable gardening.

OK–ready??? Let’s start the tour:

the group listened as Paul spoke to the importance of using native plants.

Entering the rear of the property, Paul & Gerard discussed the various plants;
as we intently followed winding paths in and out; from shady to sunny; from lower to higher levels in the garden.

After the tour, we each went off to explore as we wished. Seemed that we all had areas we wanted to go back to.
here are some of my finds………..

Monarch egg

Monarch butterflies were flitting all over

One major spider………….with an impressive web to match.

Birdhouse nestled among the plants

Thank you Paul, Gerard & Stanley for allowing us to spend time in your wonderful garden. Next week more photos from their garden; focusing more on specifics….in the mean time, garden on!!!!!


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Photo Friday

Here are some photos from the tour at MCCC:

The sign directing onto the site from Raisinville Road

View of the plots being used by the students enrolled in the MCCC classes to teach urban farming.

Plot…the project has been made available thru a two year MSU grant

The group was met by Andy McCain MCCC program coordinator and Nick Beaudrie student intern.
Nick described as he passed out detailed information-just what his job–a student intern involves. The two of them gave a very informative talk on the program as a whole. An example of the labels used for each crop–allowing collection of detailed data which is then analyzed and used later as reference.

In this view, can you see the plots along the top edge?????……….the 12 acre college farm is also home to crop plots which are managed by the MSU Dept. of Entomology & 3 of its graduate students. They have planted corn and soybeans and do testing of various treatments used to control pests and insects in the soil–documenting the effects on each. These results can then be shared with farmers and those who develop products for use in farm fields.

In addition to the cherry tomatos, the group also planted Okra- Kale, variety of peppers, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, greenbeans, lettuce, cucumbers and squash. All crops are donated to a variety
of charitable food banks. The group listened as Nick & Andy spoke of using ornamental kale
as a food source.

Okra Flower—

In addition to crops, they have planted flowers to entice the pollinators. This project created another collaborative-one with the Monroe Bee Keepers Club who after much controversy, erected this bee hive.
Some good honey coming soon–which can also be shared with the group.

This is a great project–long overdue for our farming community and I personally hope that the grant can be extended to continue this after the 2 yr. time frame. Connie and Gail are going to do some outreach and hopefully bring a like project to the south county area. Andy and Nick- Keep up the good work. Further reading on this venture can be found in the Monroe Evening News articles on June 9 & July 14, 2018.

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Garden Movie

Naida sent this information to share:
Five Seasons:

The Gardens of Piet Oudolf


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I was asked to share this with our Master Gardeners and Horticulture Club by Chris K.

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Photo Friday

Gail gives us another photo display:
Gail recently attended an exhibit titled “COMMUNITY” by Rebecca Louise Law @ the Toledo Museum of Art.
She learned of this while driving to the Leila Garden tour, from horticulture club member Sandy Rabie.
It just so happened that Sandy had helped with the tying of the flower garlands. She shared,someone from Toledo saw an exhibit by Ms. Law in England and invited her to bring her exhibit to Toledo- she accepted. Ms. Law uses local plant material for her display. It makes her “artwork” truly unique yet very personal. Here aresome pics from Gail.

The exhibit located in a room-behind glass doors has strategic lighting from the ceiling.
Looking into the room there is an appearance of shimmering gold strands. Once in, you smell the various nectar, pollen and stages of decomp. from the multitude of material used. The museum’s employees (with allergies) held handkerchiefs to their noses. I visited soon after the opening; June 16th. so I cannot predict what it is like now.

As much as I could tell you what I saw, this exhibit encourages self interpretation. COMMUNITY- the title of the exhibit; was perfect. They control the numbers in the room and base it on a 20 minute cycle. I took a bit longer :)… For as much as you connect with the exhibit as an individual, cautiously weaving around the displays while trying to not miss a thing, there are others all around you. You feel you can share with complete strangers what you see. It’s amazing how we can see the same yet see it differently. In that short moment of time, a community was formed.

Notice the shadows created on the wall

These looked like butterflies from across the room

Can you see the others?

I was intrigued by the set up. At first glance chaos-the ceiling laden with the various strands of color & composition; hanging long or short – some as garlands, others in clumps or lonely individuals– and then you enter the canvas and realize, there had to be a remarkable sense of organization to create this unique work of art.

Large clustering-various colors and compositions-see the garlands intertwined

The method used to display gave the appearance of rain. Some of my pictures were taken from the floor, looking up.

At quick glance- popcorn: I believe these were Tansy Flowers.

I would encourage a visit. Avoid exhibit fee-go Thursday night (5pm), just parking…..
go early-plenty to see from glass blowing, a sculpture garden, other exhibits and gift shop.

I believe this statement by Ms Law is an insight to her as a person, as an artist

The title of her book. Available in the gift shop ( I might go back ) Doesn’t it say it all–
thanks for letting me share gk

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There was so many beautiful things to see at Frederick Meijer Gardens. Here are a few more Photos from Gail.

Lisianthus “rose”


Part of the veggie garden in the Farm exhibit

Berries from a Honeysuckle after blooming

This bridge, in Japanese garden, was purposefully not built in a straight line, but instead a zig zag pattern

The Amphitheater

Sculpture in the Children’s Garden

Meaningful sculpture in the Children’s Garden area

Children enjoying the water feature in their garden. Some of the “children” are of questionable age.

Stunning view from hilltop, of the Japanese Garden

Here are 3 maps that show the over 300 acres that utilize over 800 volunteers. I would encourage people to visit there gardens:

The Garden map

The Flower guide

Map of the Japanese Garden area

Not only were our senses awakened but our minds. The docent filled our heads with information. We grabbed material to read and spoke with each other as we tested our knowledge on the names of the man plants.
Oh, I almost forgot the most valuable lesson of the day:

Who’s hands were reaching for the sculpture?

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Gail sends us this article and photos:
Bold & vivid colors in the entry gardens,set the stage–our senses were sparked and would finally explode as we attempted to take it all in. This cycle repeated each time we entered a new vista. Yet, we each ended the day having achieved our own personal experience with an individual interpretation of what we had seen that day. I hope you enjoy some extra pics from our tour of the Meijer Gardens.

A vertical garden in the cafeteria / dinning area

Air plant in the Arid Room

Madagascar Palm

A different variety of pitcher plant

Sculpture in Victorian Room

Orchid in the Victorian Room

Orchid in Victorian Room

Located in the Tropical Room was the Titan Arum-which bloomed this year. Although it’s past prime, it still was amazing to see

The Tropical room had many orchids. Flitting about the room were 6 varieties of tropical birds.

Beautiful flowers along with the massive well known horse sculpture.

Various sculptures were scattered in the gardens:

These trees were planted in the Japanese Garden area. They are purposefully planted on an angle or slant, which is often seen in Japanese gardens

Doris has this in her native garden

A smoke bush covered with water drops

Seven sons plant

A rose found in the Farm Garden.

Stay tuned for some additional photos from the tour next Photo Friday

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