Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guest posting from SE Michigan

Your volunteer sunflowers reminded me of a photo I had been meaning to share of my own garden volunteers. When I returned from a trip in late June, my vegetable garden (indeed, my entire yard) had become a miniature maple grove. Other than the basil and tomato plants, everything else growing in this photo is a tiny maple tree. (Note the jury-rigged but so far effective anti-bunny fencing, too.) I murdered them by the thousands when I mowed the lawn.

Over the years, I have allowed one or two to shelter and grow strong in the raised garden beds (i.e., in the decent soil I have built above my native clay) for a year before transplanting elsewhere. Successive Arbor Day plantings by kids at the local elementary school had produced a respectable grove of them — before the parking lot was enlarged, alas. Still, a 60-footer remains in the court median in front of my house. The satellite shot shows its form via its shadow. Imagine what our lawns would look like if we did not murder these eager and vigorous multitudes regularly.


Weeping Sore said...

Oh sure, you act like water falling from the sky is your personal contribution to tree-growing. You mention baby maple trees, then you mention rabbits, then you mention killing them when you mow. Sure hope you mean the baby trees, not the bunnies.
I moved my 20+ year old Japanese maples last winter, to what I thought would be a more hospitable location as understory plants. They're both dying slowly, reminding me once again that water falling from the skies is not something I can control.

Martha in Michigan said...

Ouch! I forgot that maples are a sensitive topic for you. These are not the gorgeous Japanese varieties you try to grow but a rather weedy Michigan native variety, all the offspring of the grand dame in an adjoining back yard that defines "prolific breeder"! I found that pruning the one in the court to be less shrubby made it grow very fast, even though that island is so dry that the "lawn" is mostly buckhorn plantain.

Even when water does not fall from the skies regularly, we can afford to augment here, being surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes. Given everything else that Michigan had had to deal with lately, let us enjoy our natural resources, eh?

BTW, I think there is either something very sexist or very feminist about my Word Verification of "hymeness," but I am not up to unraveling its deep meaning. Ahem.