Archive for April, 2020

Here are some Updates on Kingwood’s Garden in Ohio, from Gail.
Just click on this link:


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Good News!

Received this from Naida, yesterday

Good news! This morning’s report from Governor Whitmer’s office means that we will be able to offer our plant sales in May online. We are working out the details. Stay tuned! We’ll be updating you with information in the coming days.

The botanical gardens continues to remain closed for now, but you can still walk the trails at Matthaei and the Arb. Remember to respect the recommended distances on your walk. Thank you for your patience and support.

Gardens at Matthaei


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Hidden Lake Gardens #3

Article & photos by Gail K.
Many of us are familiar with Hidden Lake Gardens-before I take you outside for some much needed ZEN– let me share just a couple of indoor pictures from the Arid Dome-
As a bonus, the plants in this area were also in bloom–

ABOVE: based on the white color, who may be the pollinator for that cactus???

Who needs to bloom when you look like this??

Recalling the 2019 Polar Vortex–the tropic dome in its current state.

HLG lost many plants in that weather event. Dedicated to get that area restored-what a project!!
Leaving the arboretum-; once outside, signs of the spring awakening- LOOK at this magnificent Witch hazel outside the visitor center.

Hiding among the last fallen leaves of fall–Snowdrops

and this interesting plant–I don’t know the name. A good homework project–who can name this plant???

As I begin my “car” adventure note all the snowdrops which blanket the ground in the hillside Hosta Gardens.

Makes a nice grouping and the Hosta are still asleep so this is a great way to have a seasonal interest in this large area.

At the edge of the arboretum parking lot– a clustering of Witch hazel- such vibrant colors for an otherwise dull time of the year…

Now you know me-drawn to the water I got out of the car. Watching my steps,I spotted in the leaves these hidden gems.

Maybe Jennie can ID these, I don’t know??

I wish for you all some calm sense of ZEN-I can’t give you smell or sound so you will have to take a moment to close your eyes with each picture & just imagine. Are those frogs I hear??

Norwegian Proverb

Smell the heavy, musty aroma in the moisture hanging in the air
So alone and yet peaceful:

Henry David Thoreau

Anatole France

Have you ever wondered why?
Who may have been here before you?

Standing on the crest of this hill- shhh-listen-music;so thankful for our many birds

Art by nature: Just one of many

If a tree falls in the forest—and no one is there Does it make a sound??

Folks-I hope you were able to sense the calm. You too can experience this—from the luxury of your car;
making this a “safe endeavor” at this time–

I would encourage you to go & enjoy. When able, I pulled over & parked—got out and truly appreciated
all that my senses could take in, at that moment in time…. ALONE.
Peace g

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by Chris Eddolls

Our MG Earth Day committee had started to put together a program before the event was canceled. Attached is a small part of the info we had gathered. Thought it would be good for the blog. Maybe one of the other committee members will post what they had worked on too.

Earth Day 4/22/2020; 50th Anniversary; the theme: Climate Action Earth Day is every day! All of us must find a way to be effective advocates for change. Here is a list of simple actions you might not have realized could support the environment:
 Grow your own organic garden or join a farm-share group.
 Compost kitchen scraps for use in your garden; turning waste into fertilizer.
 Use soaker hose to water, avoiding runoff.
 Conserve water outdoors by watering lawn early AM or late PM; use drought resistant plants in dry areas.
 Pull out invasive plants in your yard; replace with native varieties.
 Buy local food to reduce farm-to-fork distance. Frequent local farmers market, join a food co-op.
 Organize to have healthy, local-sourced food served in you school district.
 Change you cars air filter regularly.
 Keep your tires properly inflated to get better gas mileage; reduce your carbon footprint by 20 pounds for each gallon of gas you save!
 When allowed, join a local park, river or beach clean-up!

What do YOU do to save the world?

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Article written by Chris Eddolls

What lovely weather we are having in Michigan; it has been snowing for eight hours so far today, April 17, 2020! Four inches of heavy wet slush is lying all over the garden. It got me to thinking; what seeds can germinate in cool soil?

Here are some of the interesting facts on the subject I gleaned from the MSU Extension website and Smart Gardening tip sheet: Different vegetables, herbs and flowers have different germination requirements. That is important to know to ensure your gardening efforts are successful. Viable seeds are alive; they contain an embryo & stored food surrounded by a seed coat. Germination of viable seeds is dependent on a number of variables. All seeds germinate when the soil moisture, temperature, and oxygen levels are correct for that specific seed. Some seeds have unique light condition requirements that can add another variable in the process to successful germination. The majority of popular plant seeds require “normal” germination temperatures; that being the top few inches of soil having an optimal germination temperature of 65 deg. F to 85 deg. F; if soil is sufficiently moist and aerated. Moist means meeting a level of 50-70% of soil’s moisture-holding capacity; not wet soil.

Not surprisingly, most “cool-weather crops” can germinate at a soil temperature of 40 deg. F – 60 deg. F if the moisture and oxygen levels are optimum. For example, parsley seeds could be planted and will germinate when the soil is 40 degrees but a greater majority of seeds will germinate at the ‘optimum’ temperature range for parsley seed germination of 50 deg. F to 75 deg. F. This means at 40 deg. F, if the soil is wet instead of moist the seeds may rot, or if to dry or compacted the seeds may do nothing until the soil temperature moves closer to 75 deg. F then to 40 deg. F. Sometimes being the first to get seeds into the soil does not necessarily result in you being the first to harvest!

Cool soil germinators include many of our salad bowl favorites and perform nicely in patio pots as well as garden plots: Arugula, collards, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsley, radicchio, radish, and spinach. Be aware that many of these small seeds may actually ‘require’ light to germinate, therefore needing little to no soil cover. Not surprisingly, those cool loving crucifers can also germinate at cooler soil temperatures: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage. Don’t forget legumes, root crops and herbs which can all get a jump on the gardening season by germinating in cooler soil: beets, borage, carrots, chamomile, chervil, coriander, dill, marjoram, parsnip, peas and turnips.
Put on your long johns, get out into that garden and try some cool soil germinating crops!

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Hey there—-Lenawee Conservation District held their tree sale and
these are what they have remaining……….if interested, follow the
Thanks Gail! Below is the list of species remaining.

Customers can call our office between 8am-4:30pm about them (517-263-7400 Ext. 3). Staff will take their order and give them a total. Customers will receive a call back later this week with a date, location, and time to pick up the order. Payment must be made at time of pick up (cash, check or m.o. only).

Balsam Fir
Black Hills Spruce
White Pine
White Spruce
Northern Pecan
White Oak
Red Oak
Red Maple
Black Walnut

Arborvitae (white cedar)

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We still have trees for sale!

They will be available at the Monroe Conservation District Office this week while supplies last.
All product information can be found on our website. The button below provides the order form that gives you product descriptions and cost. Please review this prior to calling the office to place an order.
The sections below list the available inventory.

Monroe Conservation District
1137 S. Telegraph Road
Monroe, MI 48161

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HLG Bulb Show -2

photos and article by Gail K.
#2 HLG bulb show- Despite the room being small it was filled to the brim with a variety of blooming flowers. To not do additional pictures would not do it justice.

I will focus particularly on the Amaryllis; I see these more @ Christmas time.. but here;
Standing tall & erect like soldiers, they lined the walls. Proudly showing off in colors of reds, whites, pinks and a mix of all.

I see a star in this one, can you see why they are favorites @ Christmas.

Almost translucent and again, a deep crimson star in the center….a needed sign in these times

I have to say I was rather partial to the white ones with just so ever a hint of another color….

Maybe I will try one this Christmas. They really are quite interesting Before departing, here are some other plants which were scattered in the beds among the amaryllis-

check out the foliage on this one….

How many of these indoor plants did you recognize??

That’s all on the exhibit–but since I have outdoor pics to share, let’s do a HLG #3…….hang in there, stay safe gk

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Due to even MORE RESTRAINTS on Michigan’s agriculture businesses I have both written and called the Governor’s office protesting the blocking off of store areas selling plants, seeds, garden supplies, etc. and also banning greenhouse/garden centers from operating. Many of us have gardens that we grow fruits and vegetables in – both from seeds and plants – that not only keep us engaged on our own properties, but supply fresh produce that we consume, share and preserve. Garden retailers are more than willing to comply with restrictions set forth on curbside delivery and are insuring that they will follow the guidelines of the number of customers in the stores/garden centers at one time.
If you agree, please reach out to Governor Whitmer’s office by mail, phone or email – or all three!:
Governor Gretchen Whitmer
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909
517-335-7858 (Constituent Services)
Email: governorsoffice@michigan.gov.

“In recent comments to Michigan Farm Bureau publication Michigan Farm News, the bureau’s Horticulture Specialist Audrey Sebolt estimated the gardening industry could lose out on between $580 and $700 million if growers can’t sell their plants, and said people might want to turn to gardening as a way to cope with stress.

The decision to shut down parts of stores that aren’t food and medicine comes shortly after the Michigan Farm Bureau requested the governor consider the retail sale of plants essential infrastructure, suggesting retailers were willing to comply with increased restrictions like curbside delivery.


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Story & Photos by Gail K.
Yearly, Hidden Lake Gardens awaken us from our Michigan winter doldrums with their Spring Bulb Exhibit.

I’m inviting you to HOP along with me, as I “tip toe” thru Tulips & other colorful blooms on display.

As I approached the entry-my visual senses were the first to be aroused–Pansies ;BRIGHT, Bold & VIBRANT guarded the doorway, enticing me to enter the exhibit.


Their nodding faces hold their secrets–“this will be a good day”. Pausing briefly in the entry-my nose was bombarded by the intense aromas engulfing me.

Right on cue I find the main exhibit area; Where, BAMM!- in your face, aromas arise from the
multitude of flowers.

SPRING HAS SPRUNG! If only I could share the essence of the fragrance which encircled me at that moment!!!

The displays primarily in colors of red, yellow & pink; were showcased by a Winterberry shrub, loaded with its red fruits,

A large bottlebrush with its red blooms-

Complimenting the reds were sprigs of blooming forsythia in sunny yellow attire

Surrounded by clusters of pink hyacinth.
Acting as sentry guards- pots of amaryllis in bloom,

Filled the raised shelving along the perimeter of the room.

Tulips, Tulips & Tulips single colors & multi-colored:
many not yet fully opened-

Waiting to expose their inner souls.

This bi-color was a favorite of many-I would like to see it when just partially opened.

The multi colored ones were quite striking and would be most welcomed in my garden!!

Not to be outdone by the tulips- In defiance, Daffodils stand erect,showing off their trumpets—

In every imaginable combination of yellows, oranges, white & peach. Long trumpets & short-

I’m partial to the white or peach colored ones, so this one showing both colors, caught my eye.

Hmmm –?? identity crisis or just mistaken identity??

Hovering near the ground; adorned In colors of pale pink, peach, yellow & white; Hyacinths!

OH LOOK-focusing on those which are hugging the ground we find the small blue clusters of
grape hyacinth.

Those small clusters were complimented by vibrant violas
strewn at their feet.

Folks- many other pictures & of course I took a leisurely drive thru the outside gardens–watch for
HLG #2

To all of you- Peace, Love & Prayers @ this time gk

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