Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wisdom from the Fallen Leaves

During the earlier years of cultivating our current garden the leaves that fell during the autumn used to annoy me. Sounds very strange I know but that was an era wherein being pristine and perfection were more of a priority than just simply enjoying the garden and the changes it goes through the season.



Fallen leaves are debris that makes a garden untidy. They accumulate on to evergreen plants and succulents, smothering them and if they rot in situ which can potentially cause harm.

Fast forward now and in more recent years when the sight of fallen leaves in the autumn are nothing more than just...fallen leaves, part and parcel of autumn. They just need sweeping and tidying up every so often, little and often the best approach. When they accumulate on crowns just remove them as you pass by and the ritual continues until the last batch of autumn leaves have fallen.


Seasonal chore, that's what these fallen leaves signify to me now and no longer a source of annoyance. Mild nuisance they still can be but they are also viewed now with a degree of fondness.


This change in perception however represents a more relaxed approach to the garden, which in many ways allows us to appreciate the garden even when generously sprinkled with fallen leaves. 



On a nice sunny day, wrapped up warm and holding a mug of hot tea I survey the garden and now look past the debris and see beauty instead that is unique to autumn.

Mark :)

26 comments :

  1. Same here - I went through a phase of feeling a bit glum seeing the fallen leaves because they signified coldness approaching and an end of summer, as well as lots of tidying. But now I revel in their colours and the lovely sounds they make blowing round and round in the breeze. Maybe I should emulate next door's cat, and chase them gleefully ! :)

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    1. Not a bad idea Ingrid, we can all learn a thing or two from these innocent creatures :)

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  2. What an excellent attitude. I tend to prefer a tidy garden too, but then my personality is on the cusp of lazy. It's hard to be both lazy and OCD, but I try. My tree that produces the most leaves is a pin oak, which has the annoying quirk of dropping leaves slowly and continuously throughout the entire winter, making clean-up difficult.

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    1. It sounds very normal to me Alison, OCD mentally but not physically :) ditto here!

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  3. Sounds like you are becoming ever more Buddha-like. Please let the rest of us know what satori is like, won't you?

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    1. I got a glimpse of it Ricki, it looks fabulous :))

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  4. I've always been a bit of a neat freak but, with the exception of the mimosa debris (which make a mess and deposit seedlings everywhere), I like falling leaves - they make great mulch!

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    1. Lots of fallen leaves can be quite enjoyable on dry days Kris :)

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  5. Like you, I do remove large clumps of leaves from crowns and other places that are unsightly or could affect the health of a plant, but mostly I've always appreciated the fallen leaves. Maybe growing up in an area dominated by conifers, where the needles are impossible to eliminate from gravel driveways and unnecessary to remove from flowerbeds, made the deciduous leaves more special to me. We never had so many that they were a nuisance. Now having lived in other areas of the country, I can understand a little more the yearly battle to clean up the huge volume of leaves that falls every Autumn, but I still like them, as long as they are cleaned up a bit.

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    1. Little and often seems to be the key with autumn maintenance Evan. Have to say I do enjoy the sound of the crunch when tidying them up. Also they biodegrade quite quick too so the chore doesn't linger most of the time thankfully :)

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  6. That first photo is a beauty. A garden is a natural place meant to go through transitions. It's so much more relaxing to embrace those days. Oh that mug of hot tea in the garden is so important since I never acquired a taste for coffee.

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    1. Indeed Shirley :) and great to hear you're a tea drinker too!

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  7. I really appreciate your positiive attitude. Definitely something for me to emulate. I still get so annoyed by leaves in the fall. Lol.

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    1. I fully understand. Agaves still looking better without leaves on them Gerhard :))

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  8. Fallen leaves can even be pretty some times...but I understand the feeling you had in the past when they would annoy you.

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    1. It's so much nicer to be more relaxed about things Lisa :)

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  9. I would think being bamboo lovers you would have had to come to terms with falling leaves and leaf litter a long time ago! (Don't get me wrong it's a good attitude) I can be pretty chill about the leaves (other than not letting them accumulate around the succulents) it's the summertime deluge of male cones from the fir trees that drives me mad.

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    1. Have to say Loree that drastically cutting back our bamboo collection has greatly helped in my change of attitude as they do shed loads of leaves all year round. It's more manageable now and the increase in debris in the autumn is less daunting :)

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  10. My leaf blower is my best friend this time of the year! I blow the leaves onto the lawn and go over them with my mulching mower and they are soon gone. I let a lot of leaves stay in my beds for the winter as a protective mulch. Of course, the bugs like the blanket to winter under as well...

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    1. Gaz enjoys using the leaf blower too Peter :) although we discard most of the leaf litter some are used as mulch too.

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  11. I guess having half of your garden burning down helps with the relaxed attitude/ If it's not on fire, it's not as bad as it once was. :)

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  12. I like the post title. Fallen leaves = potential leaf mould :)

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    1. True! Free goodness for next year Anna :)

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  13. Exactly, going with the seasonal flow is so much more relaxing, even with a rake or brush occasionally in hand. Garden is looking lovely, fallen leaves and all.

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  14. I have always loved leaves. Raking was fun. Only as an adult did I find out that not everyone agrees with me! We are buried under a sea of leaves every fall, but neither of us think of it as a terrible chore. We rake the lawns and the paths. The rest of the leaves fall into the woodlands, where fallen leaves are a naturally beautiful element of the season.

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