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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Smiley Park Children's Garden - Second Season

Master Gardeners and Community Volunteers cleaned and tucked away the Children's Garden for another successful season. Painting, pruning, trimming and needed repairs were completed for another year. There were many visitors and the Growing For The Hungry project was a success.

Three years ago Jim Clay approached Sue Heppeard and I suggesting the garden needed to extend its season. He and his family wanted to light up the garden for the Christmas Season. Everyone loves Christmas, so they set about outfitting the garden to look like a Christmas Fairy Land. This was all new to us, so we had no idea what to expect. A few other supportive community people got on board. DeShia furnished hot chocolate and cookies. There was Santa and Mrs Claus and of course there were Carolers to add to the festivities.

The magic hour for the opening was the eve before Thanksgiving at 6:30pm. By 6pm people were lined up at least a block long. Now what do we do? We had to call local law enforcement to direct traffic and help with the parking. Needless to say the hot chocolate and cookies did not last long. This was way beyond our expectations. It was estimated at least 1000 people turned out for the opening.  People were thrilled and so were we. The park was lighted every night until New Years.  Santa was there most evenings until he had to do his deliveries on Christmas Eve.

Year two, and with the previous success, we were better prepared. As this community is well noted for giving support, they contributed funds and gifts to come to Santa's aid. The Girl Scouts were well prepared with hot chocolate and cookies. This year was even bigger than the year before.The Clay Family spent a lot of time preparing for this event. A new tradition has been born.

The Clays started preparing the Christmas Garden in October this year. Keep this on your calender to start your Christmas Season. Several new things have been added and more lights have decked out the gardens, if that's even possible! The lights are scheduled to be turned on November 26th at 6:30pm. If you are in the area join us as the Children's Garden is transformed for it's second season as the Children's Christmas Garden.

Sue & Louise

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The End Is Near

First Snow
Can you believe we received our first snow on October 31st, so does this mean we will have 31 snows this winter? Now I am a lover of winter and snow, but I might just tire of it after number 24. What I do like about northwest Ohio, is the four season change. I don't like grey days and extreme heat, but I can adjust to what ever it is because one thing for sure it will change.

We have been preparing our gardens for winter over the last three weeks. We have been cutting plants back and deciding what ones we will prune next spring. Some summer bulbs need dug, like cannas and bring in planters that won't survive our harsh winters.

The fall color has been magnificent this year. Temperatures  have been just right to give us the big show. We do a lot of hand raking of the leaves, but we also mulch with the good old John Deere. We don't compost with them and I know we should. I do amend my soil in the spring with composted manure. For fertilizer this year I totally used Annie Havens Moo Poo Tea. My gardens have never been more beautiful.

Fallen Leaves

Today our Weeping Mulberry dropped its leaves in one mass drop. It made it easy to clean up. I would guess the snow and the drop of temperatures stepped up the process. Our Cleveland Pear hasn't had its color change. It is one of the last to loose its leaves. Now I really don't want to mislead you , but I do have this wonderful lawn boy (Fred) that takes care of cleaning up the lawn. I take care of the flowers, because he can be a little aggressive and some things may be gone forever. We each have passions, his is a beautiful lawn and it is a perfect frame for my gardens. There is a science of having a beautiful lawn. Properly attended grass will overcome weeds. Love walking barefoot. It is soft and feels so cool to your feet. He fertilizes the last time around the first of November.

Weeping Mulberry

Artistic Form
We have been cleaning our tools and equipment to put into storage. The garden art that needs to get out of the freezing temperatures is put away. We have drained the garden hoses and have had the irrigation system blown out. The snow blower has been put in position for quick access.

It has been a wonderful summer. We seemed to get rains just when we needed them. Not the case for some of you gardeners. Our farmers are harvesting a bumper crop. God is good. As we wrap up another year let us count our blessings. Looking forward to a rest, but will be looking for the first signs of spring before we can blink an eye.

That's a Wrap
Sue and Louise