I think just about everyone enjoys looking at bonsai, the Japanese art of growing miniature trees in containers, Even those who are not particularly interested in plants will stop and take a second look at bonsai.
The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens near Ann Arbor, is offering a rare treat this month, Magnificent Miniatures a showing of satsuki bonsai azaleas in full bloom.
A few days ago, I had a chance to see the blooming agave plant at University of Michigan’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens Desert House — the one you’ve been hearing everyone talking about.
When I first saw this plant over 30 years ago, it was already 50 years old. Through the years it didn’t appear to change much but of course it has been growing and maturing all that time. Now after 80 years, it is finally blossoming.
It has produced a flower stalk so tall that they’ve had to take out some roof glass from the greenhouse in order to give it more room to grow.
I encourage you to get out to the Botanical Gardens and see it. This type of agave blooms only once in its lifetime and then it dies. So, when it’s over, it’s over.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens is located on Dixboro Road south of Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, directions and hours are available on their website.
The trees I ordered from the Monroe Conservation District arrived Friday. I drove over to pick them up first thing in the morning and got there shortly after they opened the doors.
My package contained 50 trees — 25 white pine and 25 white cedar– so it was small enough to carry in one hand. The tree seedlings look beautiful.
I placed my seedlings in a bucket of water for a while to re-hydrate them a bit before planting.
White pine grows very fast in our sandy, somewhat acid soil. I have never planted white cedar here but I’m sure that they will do well too.
Fifty seedlings doesn’t take too long to plant. I noticed other folks picking up orders that were much larger than mine. Some had several gunny sacks worth of seedlings. I mentioned to one fellow walking out with a large order that it looked like he had a big project on his hands — he just grunted and walked out to his truck with the last of his order.
Judy and I planted our seedlings Saturday morning. The cool weather this week will help them get off to a great start.
Still not decided what to do for Mother’s Day Weekend? Why not take Mom out to the big plant sale at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor.
This is a wonderful chance to see what’s new in the world of horticulture and purchase some plants that may be very hard to find elsewhere.
Members of the Gardens get to look everything over on Friday evening and make their purchases first before the rest of the public is let in. Here’s a little secrete: if you are not a member, you can show up on Friday anyway and sign up for your membership right there at the door and they will let you in with full Member’s privileges…just as if you were a 30-year member!
We’ve all seen or heard the warnings…they go something like this: “a funnel cloud has been spotted 3 miles south-west of Carlton, people in the path of the storm should take cover immediately”
Have you ever wondered who these people are who spot these weather events and how they get reported so quickly? Well, they are a combination of emergency personnel and regular folks who have an interest in the weather and volunteer their time to watch out for the rest of us.
Last week I took the opportunity to join about 100 others in the weather spotter training that was held in Monroe. The class was taught by representatives of the Detroit office of the National Weather service. This two hour session was a great introduction to evaluating severe weather and how to report it. I have been wanting to do this for years and finally got the chance to do it.
You by no means become a severe weather expert like Dr Forbes of the Weather Channel. The class did inspired me to learn more about severe weather however.
In the meantime, I am certified as a storm spotter, all be it an un-experienced one.
There are a number of classes scheduled in our area if you are interested in participating. Admission is free. Click here for the Spotter Training Schedule.
The Soil Conservation sales give the general public an opportunity to purchase tree and shrub seedlings that would otherwise be difficult for us to find. Proceeds from these sales help fund various conservation and environmental educational programs.