You probably will be seeing scenes like this shortly all over people’s posts. You’ll see a montage of nice colorful scenes here on Wednesday. Autumn is one of the nicest times to live where I live.
And for the most part, I do try to garden sustainably on the land that I have (although I read something the other day that suggested that the way I garden is “ecologically” not sustainably. That’s something for another post–maybe).
What I try to do is to leave most of the leaves where they fall. But of course, there are limits to this.
This is one afternoon’s worth of maple leaves. They had been cleared the day before. Obviously, they can’t remain on the driveway. Not only do they become a hazard to driving, but at some point, the drift would become so deep we would have to leave our home by the back entrance.
And they can’t remain on the lawn either. They kill the grass. If you get them early enough, you can chop them with a mower and mulch them into the lawn–but when this much is falling every day, that doesn’t work.
They can–and do–remain in my garden beds. Thankfully there are lots of garden beds to absorb them.
The rest are moved to the curb where the town collects them. Only the leaves from the lawn and the driveway get collected. The rest stay on site for us–either mulching the beds in place, or blowing–or being blown–into our woods.
I recently discovered a hidden-from-sight back corner of the yard where theoretically I should be able to simply pile any removed leaves and leave them to their own devices to break down. I’m hoping that the percentage of oak leaves will be much lower from now on, so perhaps in several years I will have a nice pile of leaf mold for mulching purposes. Because I don’t own a lawn mower I can’t shred them, but I am hoping that most (other than the oak leaves) will eventually break down on their own.
Oh yes, that will definitely work–it would work on my driveway if I left them long enough (perish the thought!) The leaves that we blow into our little “woods” break down nicely on their own. It’s the pine needles that never seem to decompose–unless they’re on the bottom of my pond–yuck!
A colleague from Pennsylvania missed the foliage enough to collect a bin of fallen maple and sweetgum leaves from a job site from where they needed to be removed, and toss them about on his front lawn where there were no deciduous trees.
I grew up on an island off the coast of New Jersey. If you know it at all, you know it because it was in the news twice–first, when it was almost leveled by storm Sandy in 2012, and a few years later when it was rebuilt by hedge fund folks. All the news crews came back and did stories about those hideous mcmansions and how people lost homes that had been in their families for generations.
The story here, of course, is that until I moved away, I didn’t grow up with leaves either. I remember that I used to walk around picking them up and holding them like bouquets of flowers because they were so pretty.
Now I have all the “bouquets ” I could ask for!