Thursday, August 17, 2017

Garden Blooms, August, 2017

A few days late.  It's been busy.  And hectic and who really wants to her about it.  Anyway, here is what is blooming here in August in Southeastern Michigan.  Despite the heat and humidity, lack of decent rain, and the thrips and aphids, I still have flowers, but it has not been a great year.

 Joe-Pye weed.  I can't resist posting photos of this plant.  Lots of bees this year but almost no butterflies around.  Making they are flying back to Mexico before the wall is erected.
I thought this heliopsis cultivar was lost, but there was one lonely stem.   It's possible that the rabbits kept nipping off the new shoots.  They totally destroyed rudbeckia in the front garden.
Rudbeckia in the garden next to the above heliopsis.  No idea why they did not eat this.  Maybe they were too busy eating the daisies.
Plum Fantasy hibiscus.  If you look closely you can see the aphids on Summer Sun heliopsis, which have now all been cut back.  I sprayed with organic soap spray for two weeks and they only seemed to get worse.  Ugh.  Worse year ever.  The hibiscus in the front yard had all the blossoms destroyed by thrips, so no flowers.
Limelight hydrangeas.  

 Hosta 'First Frost'
 Hosta 'Guacamole' - it has the sweetest fragrance, better than a rose IMO.
 Hosta 'June' - I'd love an entire border of this plant
A border of Fortunei Aureomarginata hostas with Hosta 'Stained Glass' on the right.
Snow on the Mountain growing three feet tall this year.  Wow.
The new front garden plantings
Thanks for stopping by and touring the garden with me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Another Re-Post from the Past - Setting a Good Example

I mentioned a few posts back that I was clearing out old posts that I had written.  I finally decided to do them my labels attached and am currently working on those labelled 'politics'.  It was never my intent to cover any politics on my blog, but did so at the request of a local paper that was carrying it.

I wrote the following post on May 26, 2010.  It had all of sixteen online views and no comments.  I think it is still relevant today in light of what is happening in our country and the world.  Here it is; food for thought:

Today's local papers are all brimming with details of the sentencing of Detroit's former mayor (Kwame Kilpatrick).  We have opinions from everyone.  Supporters and detractors.  But what do our young people see and think about all this mess?

When I entered politics in 1988, my three sons were 9, 10, and 11.  Our meetings at that time were tape-delayed.  By 1990, we were on live TV.  With meetings starting at 7:30 PM, they were able to watch before bedtime.  And watch they did.

By this time, we had a newly appointed Supervisor.  The same person who had run in 1988 and lost in the primary election, now had taken office on a 4-1 vote of a seven member board.  (One trustee stayed home and I voted 'present'.  Call it a coward's way of voting 'no', when your vote will not matter.)  The result was a very contentious two years until the next election.

Those who are still around from back then can tell you that it was pretty disgusting television.  Most of the residents thought that the Supervisor was being controlled some members of a group called OUST, which had forced a recall election in 1988.  (This Supervisor was 'ousted' in the 1992 primary.)

At one meeting an employee got up and called the Supervisor a liar.  True on the issue involved, but not quite appropriate.  Another time, items were thrown at the Board table.

I mention all this because once, when I scolded my children for arguing with each other, they quickly responded by reminding me of the behavior on the Township Board.  Oops.  They were absolutely right.

Again, after eight years of relative calm, the community again had a contentious board from 2001-2008.  I had school teachers tell me that they taped our meetings to show their high school government classes 'how not to act'.  And while I thought things would change with a new administration in 2009, it seems it is even worse (yes, my opinion, deal with it).

But in all of this, young people are seeing adults in political positions of power setting very bad examples of behavior, the least of which is disrespectful disagreement.  The worst of this has to be the misuse of the trust placed in them at the time of their election.  The waste of hard-earned tax dollars.  And yet, some still do not get it.

Is it not surprising that our young people do not trust government to do what they promise?  Government today is 'up close and personal'.  And these future leaders are watching.  Let's make sure we send the right message and express it in our behavior and our words.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Little Tree that Could

Back when my son Jason was in first grade he brought home from school a little seedling for Arbor Day.  It was a White Pine.  The year was 1986.  I planted it in the back corner.  And forgot about it.

The back corner of my lot is rather damp.  There were Russian olives and honeysuckle growing there. Over the years, glossy buckthorn took hold and it wasn't until the late 1990's that I decided to rip everything out.  It was quite the task.  I left it open for a few years and then more recently I planted wild grasses.

When I was doing the clean-up, I discovered the pine tree.  It was only about one foot tall.  It appeared that deer had been eating the new growth each year.  So, I carefully dug it up and moved it to a new location.  As it grew, rather rapidly, I looked forward to having a nice tree.  And then, when it was about three feet tall, the top got eaten off.  I wrapped it to protect it.  It grew a little more with its crooked trunk and then some stupid stag came along and gouged the trunk.

I eventually moved it again - and fenced the yard.  Here is was nicely growing by the deck in 2015.
It has no lower branches cause they all got eaten by animals.

With protection from deer, this tree is doing very nicely.  Since all the yews have been removed from the deck area, it really shows itself off.
If you look closely at the bottom of the tree you can see where the deer ate the top and the resulting curve in the trunk.

Anytime I think I have no patience, I look at this tree and realize that for 20 years I have been nursing it.  And I wonder what it would look like if I had nursed it for the 30 years it has been in the yard.  I now have a little spruce tree that I have been growing for several years.  It is about six inches tall so I doubt I will ever see it full grown.  But someone will.