| Roses will grow well with mulch, pruning,|
and rainwater - no toxins.
Our neighbors moved out of the Wright house, causing a muted celebration on the block. Soon the owner was cleaning up the yard and joking with me. I neglected to ask him about all the needles he was raking up from the front yard, a bounty from the home at the end, where several pine trees rain down needles and cones all year.
He was still raking when I asked him for the needles. "That guy over there asked for them and I hauled them over." I looked at the field where Almost Eden was setting up new gardening areas. A large pile of needles was placed there for his use. Sigh.
Later I walked Sassy over, just to mention the needles. He was churning up the soil and stopped for a few minutes. I began - "You got to the needles before I had a chance to ask." Almost Eden burst out laughing. He said, "You can have some. I needed them for my blueberries."
We trade things back and forth. I had a gazillion yarrow seeds and additional leftover seeds from some other purchases. He has given me garden supplies and extra plants.
Little Almost Eden was outside a few days before, and Sassy spotted him across the field. She went on full alert and began running toward him. Sassy cannot resist small children, and this was a boy she knew quite well. She began crying out her loudest "Ba-ra-ra," usually reserved for major threats. This was pure happiness and Sassy treated him with lots of kisses.
Serious Pruning Time
I was going to use pine needles to weigh down my new cardboard layer, near the Crepe Myrtle row. I have plenty more needles and cones on the ground already, at the end of the street. Gardening has brought many of us together as we trade plants and ideas. The pines are overly abundant, enjoyed by that family to a point. The children have helped me put a lot of those extra needles and cones on various parts of the yard, so they have a renewable resource useful for extra cash.
We had a rocking storm last night, so I have to get serious about pruning the roses. To improve the growth of the established roses, I will cut them back by 30% to 50%. That will remove damaged ends and dead wood. The bushes will respond by growing faster on top and in the root system.
Spring has arrived with 70 degree days and more rain. Temperatures trigger the growth of plants waiting for warmer weather.
Bird feeding is related to storms and weather. The bug eaters get very hungry for seed when the cold decreases their supply. Sunshine lessens the need for feeding - unless a big storm is coming. If it is sunny and birds are in a feeding frenzy, the storm will likely be big. If they feed a lot during the rain, the storm is expected (by the birds) to last.