Clearing Leaves from Roses

 

Leaves-01-IMG_7373

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?

Leaves-02-IMG_7370 (2)

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-03-IMG_7375

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 …

Starting to be Spring Sunday

IMG_7355 (2)

Sunny today but cold–in the mid-20’s (-7C). The cold doesn’t seem to bother the emerging perennials.

A couple of blue jays are picking in the garden, looking for worms maybe or insect larvae. They fly away when I come out with the camera, so no picture.

Clean-up is underway. Lots of raking and pulling out the nasty ground cover weeds that seem to thrive in winter.

And I discovered a hack for picking oak leaves out of rose bushes–a kitchen tongs. Keeps my hands out of the thorns.

Warm-up is predicted this week. The lettuce will go in and zinnia seeds spread. Happy spring.