Miscellaneous notes

When adding a birdbath to the garden, place it near a large shrub or a tree so birds can quickly find shelter when frightened.

If you've been considering planting asparagus, don't delay.

Buy bare root crowns later this month. It takes twoto three years after planting before they come into full production.

Select a site in the background since fronds reach five to eight feet tall and must be left standing throughout summer.

Make the most of your compost and recycling efforts by adding as much household waste as you can.

Paper towels, tissues, paper napkins, bits of note papers, cardboard, and shredded junk mail are all excellent materials to balance moist kitchen scraps.

But there's no reason to stop there.

I've composted old straw hats, after pulling off polyester thread from around the brim, and pieces of an old cotton terrycloth bathrobe among other oddities, mostly to see how long they take to decompose (about a year) but also to recycle available organics into my garden.

Rosemary McCreary, a Sonoma County gardener, gardening teacher and author, writes the weekly Homegrown column for The Press Democrat. Write to her at P.O. Box 910, Santa Rosa, 95402; or send fax to 664-9476.

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