Re: [gardeners] Rain (
Mon, 08 Jun 1998 21:32:29 -0400

We have been getting very little of the stuff here in the Great Lakes
region.  And it's cold.  After an early and warm spring the plants are now
confused and things have slowed way down.  I do not think I'll have the
rose blooms this year I had last, but maybe they'll just be late.  It's so
hard to predict.  I have had enough to gather petals for my rose bead
experiment and now have a jar of paste in the refrigerator waiting to be
added to in the next day or so.  I don't know how far I'll get with this
project but I did want to try to get a few beads done this year for an
experiment.  I have plucked off the waning blooms from my heavily scented
species Damascene and turned them upside down on paper toweling to dry.
Once dry, they retain their scent for years.  I am also drying some
Gallicas and an old unidentifiable climber on my front porch.  I suspect a
combo of Gallica and damascene, maybe some tea rose thrown in--it's got to
be 75 years old so who knows for sure.  The species Damascene is my
favorite.  The petals fade slightly and get a soft crepe-paper look about
them much like poppy petals.  The Zephirine Drouhn (sp?) which was only
supposed to get 8 ft. here is now about 12 (that's after I cut it back...)
and we are building a new trellis for it; the back gate is totally blocked
with sprawling and unruly ZD canes.  It seems also to have nearly as many
blooms as usual.  The thorny Barbry Allen rose hedge I planted last summer
along my back fence is almost as tall as the fence...and fewer kids are
coming over said fence.  Barbry Allen is doing her job.  The bushes have a
few blooms, but this one doesn't really get going until the 3rd or 4th
year, at least in my yard.

The sweet williams are going gangbusters and I have some volunteer
tomatoes, children of last year's bush, so I am not sure if they'll turn
out the same. They seem to be doing well enough, considering the weather.
Lettuces, chard and spinach are slow but enough to feed us and the cool
weather seems to be extending their growing season. I have yet to put out
the beans, but the strawberries are doing a bit.  I am going to have to cut
down some of the wild black raspberries - bad rust again this year, and no
berries.  We'll put extra fertilizer on the rhubarb to make up for fewer
berries.  We also seem to have many mulberries so my husband will have his
berries with milk later this summer.

We bought a paper shredder this spring---and are shredding all the memos
from admin at work and composting the shreddings.  It's such a good use of
bureaucratic paperwork.