Don’t bother me, I’m busy! There’s no time to visit, no guests permitted. Not until the leaves are raked, chopped, hauled, and piled in the compost heap.
The dahlias, cannas, and elephant ears have been dug, cleaned, dried, and now must be bagged with dry leaves and set on shelves in the garage nearest the house to prevent their freezing. This is an easy one.
A forest of maples and poplars borders this one acre garden to the southeast. Beech and birch, katsura and ginkgo, black gum, cherry, dogwood, and Japanese maples small and large planted over twenty years drop a sufficient number of leaves to keep the gardener occupied for some weeks to come.
The driveway and front walk were cleared first, then a path was made from the deck to the two stone patios, crossing the divide between stone slabs that bridge the upper pond, and then down stone steps to the lower patio. I have walked this path thousands of times, but nearly stepped into the pond and tumbled down the leaf covered steps in the past week.
Leaves from the paths have been shredded, then bagged and hauled to the nearly full open air compost bins. Much of the garden remains leaf covered, and though these will be chopped and left in place to compost, this chore will consume my daylight hours for the next week or two. Then, there will be time to rest.
The remnants of the late season hurricane that swept through over three days this past week has made leaf clean up more challenging. When leaves are dry they are raked and chopped with relative ease. Wet leaves mat down and clog the shredder, so the task has been made more time consuming.
I’ll try to keep a positive attitude, but leaf clean up feels more like work, and less like gardening.