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Posted on Wed, Jan 4, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

Reasons to garden: You might find some surprises

By Jim and Janice Leach

According to the BBC, a woman in Sweden recently found the wedding ring that she lost 16 years ago on a carrot growing in her garden. The ring, which she designed herself, went missing from her kitchen in 1995, when she removed it to do Christmas baking.

She’d long given up hope of finding it again. She was pulling up carrots when she noticed the gold band wrapped around a small carrot. How fabulous is that?

My discoveries haven’t been momentous but are still exciting to me. In 1982, the first year we gardened in Ann Arbor, I found a small Yoda figurine when double-digging the vegetable bed.

We continue to find interesting objects in our garden. Even now, we find interesting bits and pieces — mostly broken glass — every season. We cannot count on finding things in garden, but the discoveries keep things interesting.

What’s the best thing you’ve found in the garden?

Janice and Jim Leach tend a backyard plot in downtown Ann Arbor, where they try to grow as many vegetables and other plants as possible. For the last four years, they've published gardening tips, photos and stories at their 20 minute Garden website.


Rork Kuick

Fri, Jan 6, 2012 : 1:45 p.m.

I find lots of small things I lost 18 months before when using the results of my compost pile, but also got tiny kids toys from the dirt itself at the beginning. Mostly I wanted to note: I am honored to get milk snakes (Eastern milk snake) every year. They put a cluster of eggs in a predictable place in my compost pile, which is mostly about 10 cubic yards of leaves. I find a group of maybe 20-30 eggs stuck together in a mass about the size of a grapefruit, and relocate it when I turn the pile over, to a place I think will be similar to where it was originally - not a place that will get super hot from composting. Most years I get baby snakes, and they hang around the pile for a few weeks. Oddly, I've only ever seen them once outside of my own yard, and I get out allot. They will coil and shake their tails, which I figure is to mimic rattlers. I do worry they eat my frogs, toads, salamanders, and other snakes, but since they seem rare, I continue to give them a bit of a hand. I occasionally get startled when moving compost if a big one ends up in the pitchfork of leaves, but so far have managed to never harm one, perhaps partly cause around June I am expecting them.


Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 7:12 p.m.

I came across a Milk Snake resting in the straw I used to mulch my vegetable garden. It was beautiful!

Sarah Rigg

Thu, Jan 5, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

A fancy fork, a spoon, a toy car, glittery beads, tiny action figures. Evidently, somebody with small children once lived on our property. :)