Clearing Leaves from Roses



When I was growing up, one of my most hated jobs was picking Japanese beetles off my mother’s prize rose bushes. The thorns always got me so that I’d walk around most summers with scratched hands. Yuck.

A long time ago, I moved into a house in Overland Park with 60 rose bushes, which I destroyed through neglect. No more thorny bushes for me.

So when a gardening friend suggested I plant some Drift roses in my garden, I immediately discounted the idea. But after removing the mite-infested junipers, I was left with a lot of empty space against the front of the house. Finding some discounted Drifts at an end-of-the-season sale, I decided to try them. And they did very well indeed.

Except, as you can see by the photo above, I now have to clear dead oak leaves from between the thorny branches. And Drifts have lots of thick, sharp, ugly thorns.

What to do? Recently, I bought a couple of new kitchen tongs. Why not use one to pick up the leaves?

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And that’s what I did. With a trash pail in hand, I picked out leaves, sometimes one by one and sometimes whole clumps. Here is the “after” photo.


Leaves cleared with nary a scratch.  It seems a simple hack and I’m sure someone somewhere has thought of this long before I did. But for what it’s worth …

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