Pen to Paper

Articles written for the Federated Garden Clubs of Nebraska  The Garden News or The Rocky Mountain Region The Rambler of The National Garden Clubs Keeping in Touch  and The National Gardener by Plattsmouth Garden Club members.

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                                                        Dandelion

 I'M A Little Dandelion

Charlotte Albers October 10, 2016

I'm a little dandelion,

I start off small and stout.

But very quickly then,

I grow tall and sprout.

 

Way beneath the ground,

My roots grow long and deep.

But please don't dig me up,

'Cause then you'll make me weep.

 

Children like to pluck me,

And blow my wispy hair.

But little do they know,

This spreads me everywhere!

 

I have lots of friends,

To keep me company.

The thistles and the thorns,

That grow beneath the trees.

 

love it when you pull me,

I grow even more.

Among your pretty flowers,

I'm such a nuisance and eyesore.

 

I grow through rocks and tree's.

Even in retaining walls.

Although I wind up big,

I start off pretty small.

 

I'm just a little dandelion,

Waving in the breeze.

Next time you walk on by,

Pick me up, pretty please.


Charlotte Albers October 10, 2016

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The Chicken Queen

by Lara Thompson

6th Grade, Plattsmouth Garden Club Member

 

From as far back as I can remember, chickens have been a part of my life. When I was a baby, my mother would carry me in a sling on her back while she collected eggs. Since we live on a semi-rural road with almost no kids, my chickens have been my friends. Many of them have unique personalities, like Bruce Leroy, who we named because he seemed to be doing kung fu when he checked the chicken run for danger. Molly, the hen, would follow my mother around and help her dig in the garden. Lara's Chicken

I take treats to my chickens and collect their eggs every day. When I want my chickens to come to me, I cluck like a rooster that has found a tasty grub, and they come running as fast as they can! I feel like a queen…the Queen of the Chickens!

Since I love chickens and one of my favorite times with them is watching a momma hen rear her chicks, I decided to make that my sculpture project. We saved styrofoam from egg cartons, take-out containers, grocery packaging, and thick packing styrofoam. I looked at pictures, models, and real chickens to help me form my sculpture. After many hours of sticking styrofoam pieces and fingers to­gether, Hen-and-Chicks was born.Lara's Chicken with NGC President

Lara and her family are members of the oldest federated garden club in Nebraska -- Plattsmouth cel­ebrating 80 years! Lara usually enters the poetry contest, but was ineligible this year because she won last year. So, she tried her hand at the NGC Youth Sculpture Contest using recycled materials -- lots of them. It took experiments with glue and a two-day, kitchen table take over, but Lara created a winner! Her sculpture won 1st place for sixth grade in the Plattsmouth Garden Club contest, and took 1st place for sixth grade and overall sculpture winner at the Federated Garden Clubs of Nebraska level. Congratulations to Lara; we love your creativity.

 

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The Gardener
Written by John W. Williams July 8, 2015

 gardenfork in a garden

Icy snowflakes lazily swirling and drifting

downward from the sky.

Repairing fences, storing dried seeds and spreading manure on top of the garden.

The smell of ice is in the air               

Like sticking your head in a freezer and breathing in deeply.

Freezing hairs in the nostrils and snow crunching underfoot.

Millions of diamonds glistening in the moonlight and shoveling snow.

 
WINTER IS HERE!

Gurgling water from melting snowbanks assails the senses.

The hint of a warm southern breeze hanging in the air.

Small wild crocuses blooming among the newly fallen snow.

Yellow Daffodils are budding out and a couple are actually blooming!


SPRING IS COMING!

 Prepare planting pots, locate seeds, find good soil and I thought I was prepared.

When should I plant the seeds? 

Are we going to have a late frost this Spring?

Hurry, Hurry, I was so organized last fall, what happened?

Birds chirping outside the window, I just spied a Mockingbird…

SPRING IS HERE!

Plowing the garden, removing weeds and creating straight rows.

Watching the miracle of small plants emerging from the soil.

Hoeing, nurturing new life, thinning and pulling weeds.

Covering plants from a late frost,

Radishes and Sweet Peas sure taste good in salads.

SUMMER IS HERE!

Popping Cherry Tomatoes in your mouth.

Baby rabbits are cute, but they ate my beans!

How strange Bambi jumping my fence and eating my tomatoes?

Fireflies blinking in the warm still night and you just know June has arrived.

 

Grass is turning brown and plants need watering; Can hardly keep up harvesting pole beans and okra.

Tomatoes taste especially good coming from your own garden.

Goldenrod is blooming and did I spy a purple wild Aster?

 

WHEN DID AUTUMN ARRIVE?

I better get that second crop of bush beans planted.

Potatoes are dug and cleaned for storage, Baby potatoes in white cream sauce are especially delicious.

Zucchini and cucumbers I can't give away.

Lakota squash and pumpkins are scattered about.

FALL MUST BE HERE!

Too late to plant beans, but radishes and lettuce are in the soil again.

Carrots taste good, but would have been larger had I thinned them better.

Plants are dying and I scraped frost off my windshield this morning.
We had a hard early frost!

Radishes and lettuce from the garden are great in salads.

Repairing fences, storing dried seeds and spreading manure on top of the garden.
Icy six-sided miniature works of art lazily falling from
from the sky…

Written by John W. Williams July 8, 2015

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The Cycle of Pollinators
by Lara Thompson

 

When winter’s grasp looses its icy grip

Creatures awake from their winter slumbers

A queen bumblebee feels warmth and starts work 

As spring warms up, I grow native flowers

 

Small butterflies come from the south to dine

Alit upon delicate petal seats

Large butterflies join the small and then feast

Mason bee eggs sealed with mud in the spring

 

The monarchs and the swallowtails arrive

Through the days of spring and summer they live 

Dancing on the flowers to sip nectar 

Young mason bees spin cocoons for winter

Female butterflies lay their eggs and die

Queen bees lay eggs to go on, for a time

 

The season turns to cold, and all things change

All things feel the days are getting shorter

Butterflies sense the change and hurry south 

The mason bee cocoons will hatch next spring

Queen bumblebee lays her successor eggs

that hatch, feed, and burrow; the old nest dies

New queens will sleep under the ground ’til spring

Flowers drop seeds and perish from the frost  

 

And then the snowy silence of winter 

In this snowy silence we wait for spring

Waiting for warmth to drive away the cold

That the springtide will melt away the chill

Snows melt away; cycles begin anew. 



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My Ghost Deer
By John Williams, President Plattsmouth Garden Club

I attended a class on water gardens utilizing rain water at the Iowa School For The Deaf in Council bluffs, Iowa several years ago.  I even learned using barrels to store rain water during the summer dry periods catching the rain water from the roof of my house.  Near the end of the class our instructor told us how deer loved Hosta as much as we loved caviar and how she kept them away by building a three tier fence.  I especially like her idea of a maintenance free fence to keep deer out of her garden.  Now that was my kind of fence!  Cheap or should I say less expensive.

     I bought six steel T-Posts and drove them around my garden.  Then I strung 4lb. test clear cat gut fishing line taut in three layers around my fence posts.  One line was about a foot above the ground.  One was in the middle and one was stretched around the top of the posts. Deer I had already tried planting peppermint down the middle of my garden and a row of rhubarb along the Western side.  I planted peonies on the East side and scattered Iris around the other edges and in the middle too.  All to no avail because the deer would still take a stroll through my garden and eat everything including my row of expensive huge strawberries plants clear to the roots and killed them.

     I even created a spray bottle of pepper spray to keep the rabbits away from my garden.  I placed a 3 quart pan on the stove and filled it with water, placed a fresh jalapeno, a tablespoon of jalapeno juice and a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper in it.  Brought it to a boil for twenty minutes.  Let it cool and strained the mixture.  Once the impurities settled out I poured off the top and placed it into my spray bottle.   Then after a rain or once a week I would spray the mixture on my beans, cucumbers and other tender plants I didn't want the rabbits to consume .  If this spray burns your plants just dilute it with a little more water.

     This concept worked well for the rabbits.  One early morning I witnessed a rabbit hopping into my garden and seem to head right for my bush beans.  He moseyed up to a plant and took a carefully oriented bite.  Immediately he shook his head and moved his paw across his mouth.  I didn't think rabbits were capable of thinking, but surprisingly he bent right down and took another nibble from the same plant.  Again he shook his head and rubbed his front paw across his mouth for the second time.  He looked around as if to make sure no one witnessed his embarrassment and hopped away from my garden and found a clover patch.

     My bush beans were never attacked by rabbits again that summer.  The pepper spray worked very well against rabbits but seemed to draw the deer in.  I don't know whether the deer liked the ingredients in the spray but eventually they ate all my beans to the ground.   

     I don't believe in ghosts but these deer were able to move effortlessly all over my yard unseen.  I began thinking I had  ghost deer.  Let's face reality.  How is it possible my neighbors are able to see the deer moving randomly around my yard and I could not?  Does that make sense?  No, it doesn't. 

     But now I had a deer fence stretched around my garden to keep the deer out.  I remembered our college instructor had said the deer could not see the fishing line but they could feel it.  If they could not see the line then they would not jump the fence, just move around the edges.  Now I was ready!  I would have a garden all to myself.

     Several days later, even though I hadn't seen any deer, my fence had been breached.  all the fishing lines were broken as if the deer had just walked through it.  That meant I had real live deer not GHOST DEER.  I felt better because I didn't want to believe in ghosts anyway.

       I restrung my fence with 14lb. clear fishing line that would be a lot stronger then that 4 lb. test line.  This method really worked.  I had won!  I won, the deer didn't!  No deer and my garden grew like it was supposed to.       
     A month later I had a premonition so I opened the blinds in the kitchen windows and was shocked to see two deer standing in the middle of my garden eating my plants, my food!  I banged on the window and caught their attention as they glanced towards the house.   I ran downstairs, banged open the basement door and ran out and saw them running across my yard and jumping the chain link fence and disappearing into the woods.

      I wondered how they were able to enter my garden and exit it?  Only a ghost deer could pass invisibly through my deer proof fence.  These deer weren't ghosts because I had seen them so how did they pass through my fence?  I inspected the fence and discovered a section on the south end was broken.  I learned from the last time so I tied off the line at each post.  That way if a breach occurred only that one section would be broken and the rest of the fence would remain intact.  These deer couldn't be smarter then me!

     That summer was a losing matter but next year I will win!  So the following year I restrung the 14 lb. line and apparently the deer had indeed learned a lesson; to stay out of my garden.  I was happy falsely thinking I had won again.  I was apprehensive because I was beginning to think these were smart deer, you know, deer that could reason and think intelligently, not like ghost deer that could walk through walls and fences.

     A couple months had passed and I couldn't believe my eyes one afternoon as I peered out the kitchen window I could see a smaller deer in my garden and the larger one right below the window nibbling on the plants right behind my house on the table.  I have lemon balm mint, chocolate mint and old fashioned peppermint around the back of my house and the deer was only inches away from it.  So much for the story I heard as a child that mint would keep the deer away.  A lie.

     I crept slowly and quietly around the house to see how that smaller one got into my garden.  I actually witnessed her jumping over the fence on the west side.  How could she jump a fence she couldn't see?

     As I inspected the fence I realized I had become complacent and allowed a wild morning glory to vine over and along the top strand of my fence for several feet.  Now the deer could see the top of the fence and easily jump it.   I was so relieved I hadn't gone totally mad as I realized I did not have GHOST DEER.  A week later the strands were broken again on the east and south side of the garden.  Next year I WILL WIN!!

     Guess what I did this year?  Yep! I will grow a garden again and this time I'm convinced I don't believe in ghost deer and I plan to win this war I'm having with these deer.  In the past two years I've learned deer can walk through 4lb. test line as well as 14 lb. test line.  So this year I will use 20 lb. CLEAR fishing line.  Let me see them run through that!  No way is a deer going to run through 20 lb. line.  So I'm planning on winning this year.  I strung THE LINE LIKE I HAD DONE PREVIUOSLY.  That combination should work just fine.

     Once again a invested in an Indian variety called Lakota squash, another heirloom squash, 1 Cherokee purple tomato, 6 organic Roma tomatoes, 1 super sweet cherry tomato, purple pod pole beans, Armenian vining cucumbers, 12 potatoes, and 6 egg plants.  I plowed my garden in October 2014 and again in April 2015.  The second week of April I planted radishes in rows and the potatoes in mounds like my Mother had done.   The last week of April I planted the rest, the squash in mounds too. 

     I was elated to watch my plants growing.  I sprayed a new mixture of pepper spray for the rabbits.  Sometime in early May my beans were a couple of inches tall so one sunny evening I strolled over to my beautiful garden to pull weeds which were getting out of control.  WHERE ARE MY BEANS AND CUCUMBERS?  The potatoes had been nibbled on, the cherry and Cherokee purple tomatoes also had the tops cut off.  All my squash except the Lakota were gone.

     I immediately inspected my fence and noticed no vines were growing on it, the fence strands were not broken and the weather was not humid with no heavy dew on everything.  So how did the deer enter and exited my garden this time?  I had seen no deer this year at all and that was strange so how did they pass through the fence?  The hair on the back of my neck began rising as I realized my GHOST DEER were visiting me again.  

I replanted the squash, pole beans and vining cucumbers around the middle of May for the second time.   By June I again had little beans and squash and cucumbers growing in my nearly empty garden.   I was a little apprehensive and seemed to be glancing out the kitchen window a lot making sure my garden was not being devoured by the free roaming deer.  I still had not seen any deer this year at all!  Why?

     One evening I ventured over to the garden and I couldn't believe what I saw.  My beans, 1 egg plant, all cucumbers and all squash had vanished in thin air.  The Lakota squash had not been touched.  Here it was in the second week of June and now I did not have enough time to plant seeds again.  Most of the nursery plants were gone or had been thrown away.  So I eventually found some horrible vining cucumbers some squash and another variety of egg plants.  I ran out of purple pod pole beans so I used my scarlet runner beans and replanted my vining beans.   This was my last ditched effort of having a garden.  

     Now if those Deer would just stay away.  I was amazed how over 8 months had gone by and I haven't even caught a glimpse of any deer in my yard.  How in the world could these special deer just pass through my fence and consume everything if they weren't GHOSTS?

     Once again, for the third time, my garden was rebounding and looking good once the weeds were gone.  I should be happy because I had my backyard declared a "Backyard Wildlife Habitat" from the National Wildlife Federation over twenty years ago.  I've seen a peacock visit and stayed for about three weeks, some wild turkeys visited me last year, as well as raccoons, wood chucks, opossums and deer.   Squirrels, birds and rabbits abound too.

     Wednesday morning June 25, 2015 I glanced through the blinds out the kitchen window and thought I caught a glimpse of something big and brown.  I very quietly opened my front door and silently closed it behind me and crept ever so softly around the house on the east side.  My Marine Corps training took over as I rolled over the chain link fence and crawled on the ground on my belly inching towards the back yard.  First time this year I actually saw my ghost deer.  I was determined to discover their secret of how they were penetrating and exiting the perimeter of my vegetable garden.

     I was able to get within twenty feet of them peering through the tall grass and day lilies on a slight rise overlooking the garden and seeing two very much alive deer.  One was a four point buck while the other was a smaller and younger female (I think).  I had my camera with me too.  I was going to have proof.  I believe ghosts don't reveal themselves on camera digital film. 

     I noticed how the buck stuck his head in my tomato cage and ate my tomatoes almost to the ground, and how the younger one took a mouthful of cucumbers and beans and then swiftly moved her head downward and snapped the mouthful right at the ground, then raised her head triumphantly as if pulling a fast one over on someone.  I also witnessed them saunter over to the potato plants and eat them almost to the ground too.  About an hour later they were done eating and began walking around the fenced in area.  Now I'm going to see how they were able to pass right through the fence like GHOSTS!

     The buck approached the northwest post and moved his nose up to the top strand that he could not see and found it.  Then he lowered his nose to the next strand and onto the final third strand.  He made that maneuver one more time and then bent his head between the middle and bottom strands and raised his head up on the other side of the fence.  As if in slow motion he bent one front leg up against his body and stuck it through the opening and then the other front leg took a step forward and once again brought his rear leg up and through the strands to.  Before I knew it he had passed through my fence with all the strands of fishing line intact.  I glanced over and the little one just jumped over the fence.  I raised up with my camera and took a picture as they walked away from my garden.  They showed courtesy by stopping and looking back as if to say, "You were easy."

 


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THE LOVE OF A FRIEND
Charlotte Kay Albers and Mirian Kay Williams, October 7, 2014

When we hurt the ones we hold dear,
We cause pain in their soul and a harmful tear.
Cruel words burn and sear deep in the heart, Only to tear whole worlds apart.
Words that cause pain are no words at all, They make you tear down, stumble and fall.
Love is a gift that should never end,
So love and respect your family and friends.
If you seek you will find guidance and love, From God's patient hand in His garden above.
When worlds have been torn apart,
It breaks down all your nerves and shatters your heart.
But when we speak words kind loving and true, They will lift up the one who criticize you.
For what flows from your tongue, comes from the heart, So build up the one that tears you apart.
When they hear words of blessing and love, They may turn from their pain and seek God above.
So pick up the pieces and do what is right, and hand them all back with words that delight.
Then pray for their healing, for them to forgive, And enlighten their soul by the new way you live.
Let the past be the past, start once again And you may again gain the love of a friend.

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 Quest for a Wild Redbud Tree
Written by John Williams October 31, 2014

 

      I always had a desire to plant a real wild beautiful Redbud tree in my front yard.  Now as the years have slipped by ever so quickly I wondered if I was ever going to have that elegant purple-pink flowering specimen.  In the meantime, I ventured to the XEROX building (IT'S NOT THE XEROX BUILDING ANYMORE) on 72nd and Mercy Street in Omaha, Nebraska.  On a late spring day I pulled a lot of the small 2 inch seedlings growing among the rocks beneath the 15 or so
redbud trees growing in planters hugging the edge of the building.  From Spring until the first week of June I noticed a maintenance man had sprayed a plant killer on all these
seedlings and other weeds in the planters. So on this
particular day I saved 18 baby redbud trees from certain DEATH!
     Once home I planted nine trees in each of the two rows 4 feet from one another and the rows were five feet apart.  Now I would have a Redbud tree "Pathway" to admire in about seven or eight years, although I had to replant a couple of them the following year.  Approximately seven years later I had 14  trees ready to bloom.  I pruned them into a pathway and every spring I have a beautiful purple-pink flowering Pathway to behold.  I've had people wanting their pictures taken standing among the flowering trees.  I considered these trees in my Pathway not real specimens of the wild variety because I was convinced the parent trees were probably bought at a nursery.
     Buying a redbud tree from a nursery is not the same as having a real wild redbud tree specimen.  The desire
overcame me to take a walk in the surrounding bluffs and dig one up.  But my conscious reminded me that act would still be stealing.  What a quandary I had gotten myself into.  From where and how was I ever going to acquire a “wild” redbud tree?
     I convinced myself to take a trip to the bluffs carrying my small 4 foot long shovel.  My thought process went something like this:  what if I found a small redbud tree that may die anyway unless I rescued it?  Now that wouldn't be stealing would it?  Really, this was not an act of stealing but a rescue mission (of sorts).
     I felt a lot better and with renewed vigor I trudged up the steep side of a heavily forested area near an old tree that had fallen down.  There right in all of that brush, I spied the tell tale heart shape leaves of a small two foot high redbud tree.  I was sure this tree would never have the chance to grow into adulthood unless I saved it, as I carefully struck the shovel down into the soil and stomped on it.  I heard a noise.  What was that?
      Fear crept over me when I heard a snarl, uh oh, that sounds to me like it may be a bobcat, I thought to myself.  I froze as the hair stood up on the back of my neck.  I waited in silence and noticed there was not a sound... anywhere.  I felt like I had entered a vacuum.  So I bent down once again and drove the shovel into the ground on the other side of the tree.  But this time I heard another low deep throaty growl.  I was terrified and froze again.  Then I realized this snarling animal was most likely a bobcat with babies in a den probably under that old fallen tree.  I came to the conclusion that I must be standing very close to the mother cat.   I glanced around in

the direction of the sounds.  There was so much brush that I couldn't see anything, but I could feel her watching me.  Wow, what an eerie feeling!
     One thing I was absolutely sure of, if a mother bobcat or a cougar thought her babies were threatened she would fight ferociously with her life to protect them,  When I imagined her claws and teeth tearing through my flesh, I shuddered.  Ouch!
     Okay then.  I really did not need that particular redbud tree, after all.  I slowly stood up with my shovel and my arms down at my side.  I began slowly backing away from this large wild cat, staring at the area near the tree that had fallen.  As I moved, I could hear her growl coming from deep down in her throat.  Though now it didn't sound as
menacingly as before.  What a wild terrifying sound she made.  I continued slowly backing away until I could no longer hear her growl.
     I felt a little sheepish as I got back into my auto for my trip

home empty handed.  No wild tree.  I really would not have felt comfortable stealing that redbud tree from the bluffs anyway.  I mean stealing by any other name is still stealing no matter how I tried to word or rationalized the act.  It was sort of like God reminding me that stealing no matter what I may call it is still stealing; a little sin is like a great sin because it is still a sin.
     What am I to do now?  I wondered.  It's funny, each spring I ponder the same question.
     What is it about the redbud tree that becomes an obsession?  It seems to just overwhelm me.  I remember my parents driving to Southeastern Missouri in the early spring every year.  It was always before the leaves sprouted from the surrounding trees. There among the forests the redbud trees would sparkle and stand out with its purple-pink flowers, showering us with its beauty.  They stand out now, but during the summer months they disappeared among the foliage of the larger trees.  These redbud trees are only in their glory during the Springtime.
      I was determined not to give up in acquiring a real wild redbud tree!  The following October I ventured into a different part of the forested bluffs near the confluence of the Missouri and the Platte rivers.  The leafless redbud trees were easily spotted because they were loaded with hundreds of black seed pods.  They were hanging from the limbs within easy reach, so I gathered a bag of them.  I took them home and removed a handful of the tiny 1/8 inch brown seeds.

I worked some soil on the bank of my yard and planted a bunch of them.  I marked the row, and I knew that next
summer I would have a bunch of small trees to choose from.  However, the following spring nothing grew.  Why? I asked myself.  I was dumbfounded.  What could I have done wrong?  Then I remembered the seeds could remain dormant for several years.  I forgot about that.
     Four or five years later I noticed I had redbuds growing everywhere.  So I selected one from where my row should have been and dug it up.  I planted it in a prepared area in my daughter's front yard.  Now she had a real wild redbud tree growing in her front yard too!  I was excited and she was also happy.
       The following Spring it began growing and then suddenly died.  My daughter was devastated, but I quietly encouraged her to keep watering the dead tree.  A couple of weeks later, I laid down on my belly to inspect the tree.  I spotted a small bud that had appeared on the trunk, about two inches from the bottom.  I called my daughter over and showed her this tiny speck of growth.  I explained to her this tiny spark of life was going to grow into a beautiful, flowering redbud tree.   It just needed a little bit of help, that's all.  She was dubious that this tiny bud would ever become a tree.
     Many years later that redbud tree has turned into a
beautiful tree.  It radiates its beauty for all to admire along Rock Bluff Road in Beaver Lake, Nebraska.
 
                           

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Rylander Park Rose Garden at at Plattsmouth, Nebraska
by John Williams

It all began innocent enough.  As I entered Rhylander Park and disembarked from my vehicle to begin my three mile walk around the trail, several years ago, I noticed a young lady pulling weeds from the rose garden.  Maybe she was the caretaker of the rose garden because I had seen her there before removing weeds.  I ignored her and walked around the mile path and when I returned back to my auto she was still there sweating and pulling weeds.  I asked her if I could be of help?  She glanced up, smiled and emphatically said, "Yes you can!" I assisted her whenever I noticed her working on the rose garden.  A couple years ago I gave her my name and phone number and informed her whenever she wanted to pull weeds call me.  She explained she was always busy and always took care of the rose garden on a whim and seldom had the time to call anyone for help.  She was correct as she never called.

Last fall of 2013, she asked me after I assisted her removing some weeds to please dig up the many tree saplings growing in the rose garden.  I noticed some of the roses had died and there were a lot of trees growing there.  The following week I dug up over twenty small trees up to 2 feet high most of which were Red Bud trees with a long tap root.  2013 turned out to be an extremely hot dry summer and then during the windy and dry winter months this caring caretaker of Rhylander Rose Garden resigned and I inherited the
position.  She had been taking care of the rose garden nearly 20 years, and by the spring of 2014 most of the Tea Roses were dead or dying.

The only thing I knew about roses were they needed special loving care such as water, fertilizer and who knows what else.  I was terrified; what was I going to do?  Maybe I needed some enlightment, studying and learning things about roses I never knew before.  Was this endeavor beyond my grasp?

I learned fossil evidence revealed the rose had been around for 35 million years.  The genus Rosa has 150 species from Alaska to Mexico.  Garden cultivation of roses began about 5,000 years ago in China.  Roman nobility established large public rose gardens south of Rome. 

Then during the seventeenth century royalty considered roses or rose water as legal tender, and were bartered as payments due.  Napoleon's wife Josephine established an extensive collection of roses at the Chateau De Malmaison, which was an estate seven miles west of Paris in the 1800s.  In 1824 Pierre Redoute completed his watercolor collection "Les Rose" from this garden setting.  This watercolor collection is considered one of the finest records of botanical illustration.
Around this time in history China introduced into Europe the cultivated roses.  Most modern roses can be traced back to this ancestry.  Even in England one faction took on the white rose and the other the red rose and the War of Roses ensued.
It never dawned on me that Miracle Grow could be harmful

for roses, that it can burn the leaves and must be reapplied every two weeks.  A better plant food could be a Rose & Flower Food with Systemic Insecticide to be applied every six weeks.  This would not only fertilize the roses but kill the bugs as well.  That sounds good to a lazy gardener like me.  Much to my dismay I also learned that watering is important and needs to be applied into the winter months until the ground freezes.  Mulching is so important too for winter survival.

What have I gotten myself into?  Rhylander Rose Garden was weed infested by the spring of 2014.  Most of the Tea Roses had died or were dying from the severe heat of the summer of 2013 and the dry and windy winter also.  I spent two days pulling weeds and filled 6 large trash bags.  Then I realized the Rhylander Rose Garden was there for everyone in Plattsmouth to enjoy, why not get
everyone involved and make it their Rose Garden.

I initiated a Letter To The Editor asking for just 10 families to donate and help plant, if they wanted to, at least oneTea Rose or any kind of rose bush for Rhylander Rose Garden.  In the meantime, I contacted one of the gentlemen who worked for the city to repair the drip irrigation system that had been previously installed and had three kinks.  I asked him to replace the kinks in the plastic hose with 90 degree elbows.  That could be why the roses in the middle died out from lack of moisture.

The response to the Letter To The Editor was fantastic and we were able to plant more roses and went from the original 13 to a total of 16 rose plants; three bush roses and the rest were Tea Roses.  I fertilized them with Ferti-Lome Rose & Flower Food with the Systemic Insecticide to kill bugs.  I placed name tags to ensure the people who donated the roses would get the credit and reveal what rose plant they had
purchased.  The Plattsmouth Garden Club bought a couple of rose plants too.

I had the Plattsmouth Journal print another Letter To The Editor giving thanks and the names of the people who had purchased and donated roses to Rhylander Rose Garden, for everyone in the community to enjoy.  Like my third grade teacher, Miss Markle told me, "Pets require you to feed, clean up after them, groom and take them for walks.  Flowers, on-the-other-hand, just require you to water, pull weeds and the flowers will bless you with their beauty and fragrance."  Such little effort for such a huge reward.
Since I've planted the roses I have continued to pull weeds and mulch the bed and I have noticed other people also
pruning the roses which means I may not have done a very good job pruning them myself.  That is good but I have also noticed someone is pulling weeds every once in a while too.  This is turning into a community rose garden where people sees something that needs done and go out of their way and do it!  What more can I say.  It's wonderful.
 I acquired this information from other gardeners, internet, books I’ve read and from talking with nursery personnel.

 

for roses, that it can burn the leaves and must be reapplied every two weeks.  A better plant food could be a Rose & Flower Food with Systemic Insecticide to be applied every six weeks.  This would not only fertilize the roses but kill the bugs as well.  That sounds good to a lazy gardener like me.  Much to my dismay I also learned that watering is important and needs to be applied into the winter months until the ground freezes.  Mulching is so important too for winter survival.

What have I gotten myself into?  Rhylander Rose Garden was weed infested by the spring of 2014.  Most of the Tea Roses had died or were dying from the severe heat of the summer of 2013 and the dry and windy winter also.  I spent two days pulling weeds and filled 6 large trash bags.  Then I realized the Rhylander Rose Garden was there for everyone in Plattsmouth to enjoy, why not get
everyone involved and make it their Rose Garden.

I initiated a Letter To The Editor asking for just 10 families to donate and help plant, if they wanted to, at least oneTea Rose or any kind of rose bush for Rhylander Rose Garden.  In the meantime, I contacted one of the gentlemen who worked for the city to repair the drip irrigation system that had been previously installed and had three kinks.  I asked him to replace the kinks in the plastic hose with 90 degree elbows.  That could be why the roses in the middle died out from lack of moisture.

The response to the Letter To The Editor was fantastic and we were able to plant more roses and went from the original 13 to a total of 16 rose plants; three bush roses and the rest were Tea Roses.  I fertilized them with Ferti-Lome Rose & Flower Food with the Systemic Insecticide to kill bugs.  I placed name tags to ensure the people who donated the roses would get the credit and reveal what rose plant they had
purchased.  The Plattsmouth Garden Club bought a couple of rose plants too.

I had the Plattsmouth Journal print another Letter To The Editor giving thanks and the names of the people who had purchased and donated roses to Rhylander Rose Garden, for everyone in the community to enjoy.  Like my third grade teacher, Miss Markle told me, "Pets require you to feed, clean up after them, groom and take them for walks.  Flowers, on-the-other-hand, just require you to water, pull weeds and the flowers will bless you with their beauty and fragrance."  Such little effort for such a huge reward.
Since I've planted the roses I have continued to pull weeds and mulch the bed and I have noticed other people also
pruning the roses which means I may not have done a very good job pruning them myself.  That is good but I have also noticed someone is pulling weeds every once in a while too.  This is turning into a community rose garden where people sees something that needs done and go out of their way and do it!  What more can I say.  It's wonderful.
 I acquired this information from other gardeners, internet, books I’ve read and from talking with nursery personnel.

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