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      U.P. Gardening Tip - August 26, 2009

      For Upper Peninsula gardeners, the flower blooms of the last week of August 2009 promise spectacular color in spite our sporadic (lack of?) summer heat waves.

      In my two flower gardens there is an abundance of colors in chaos. At eye level, bloom two clumps of the perennial, Echinacea or cone flowers. They have firm stalks and are mellow pink with large seed heads. One poor clump suffers from an invasive yarrow root and needs my immediate rescue|scalpel, please! Next to these beauties, blue morning glories struggle up a lopsided trellis that yesterday TMs strong winds nearly blew over. And at last, five sunflowers grow over three feet but will not make the promised six feet, the seed packet promised. Their sweet yellow/brown faces hover near a nice patch of Black-eyed-Susan TMs.

      As I stroll over to inspect my annual seed and cut flower garden, I caress a few Zinnias (planted from seed last May). Near the Zinnias, I have a smug satisfaction to witness the gladiola bulbs I planted 90 days ago. They cautiously unfurl scarlet and fuchsia blooms. How beautiful they will look gracing the table this evening. I will cut and trim four stalks and place them in my grandmother, Cat Carroll TMs crystal heirloom vase. I will think of her lovingly and thank her silently for teaching me the wonders of gardening.

      And if this wasn TMt delight enough, the autumn nasturtiums, asters and mums are pushing through with the promise of September and October color. I guess I could say all is well in the flower garden of my Chocolay River home.

      For flower gardens in the U.P., dividing, deadheading and pruning are the only chores left in the next few weeks. Which is just as well, as the vegetable gardens will commandeer more of a gardener TMs time now. There is no rest for both flower and vegetable gardeners in late August. Still, this is my favorite time of year| the two quiet weeks before the Labor Day weekend and local school start-ups. It is a good time for gardeners to reflect on the year 2009 and tentatively sketch out expansion or downsizing plans for next year.

      TV6 Contributor - Donna Campbell, Master Gardener

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