An annual chore

As certain as winter’s cold and summer storms, leaves will fall in autumn to cover much of the garden. Now, I must plan to mow, rake, or shred to remove a large portion of the leaves that drop from the forest that borders the southern edge of the garden, and the dozens of trees that I’ve planted.

Foliage of Chinese dogwood in early November

Foliage of Chinese dogwood in early November

There is no emergency for this to be accomplished, though wet, matted leaves are more difficult to remove than dry leaves. The longer they remain, the harder the labor to clean them up.

Leaves of Oakleaf hydrangea wll often persist into the new year

Leaves of Oakleaf hydrangea wll often persist into the new year

Large areas of the garden will be mulched with shredded leaves by some point in late winter, though a few areas where only trees and shrubs are planted will be left to decay without any assistance. What is not certain is, when will the clean up begin, and when will it be completed?

Leaves of Bigleaf magnolia dwarf fallen leaves of maples and tulip poplars

Leaves of Bigleaf magnolia dwarf fallen leaves of maples and tulip poplars. Most of the magnolia leaves will be left undisturbed since they clog the leaf shredder.

This is not a project that I’m anxious to start, but it must be done or hellebores and other low growing shrubs and perennials might be smothered beneath the heavy mat of leaves. And, if flowers of hellebores and snowdrops are to be enjoyed, this thick cover layer of leaves must be removed.

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