Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fall Bounty

Today was one of those beautiful fall days when the sun is shining, the temperature is just perfectly cool and there are plenty of things that need to be done in the garden. Well, the list of garden chores gave me an excuse to be outside for a good part of the day and feel like I was being productive.

I started by putting together my new leaf composter set (from Gardener's Supply). It's relatively simple, but annoying, to put together. I hope it lasts so I don't have to move it anytime soon. And that we don't have to move again.

This three bin set up is designated for leaves only. I hope to produce a nice leaf mold to use as mulch next year. Of course I don't rake leaves so I had to get them off a neighbor who was just planning to drag hers off into the woods. I'll shred them using a string trimmer, water them well and then I'll have plenty of room to add more. Assuming there is another nice day I can spend in the garden before the snow flies.

I said I don't rake leaves. This is my lawn before.

This is my lawn after. After I ran over it with the mulching mower turning the leaves into organic matter and soil amendment in a few short minutes. Much easier and faster than raking.

For Garden Bloggers Bloom Day I posted pictures that I took on Friday. I took the pictures on Friday because I knew the remnants of TS Ida were headed our way for the weekend. Sure enough Ida dropped over 2 1/2 inches on our house (check out the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow web site and you can pull up maps of various states to see rainfall at individual volunteers' houses). About half of GBBD flowers are gone now. Done in by the wind and the rain. But there is still plenty to look at and photograph and I managed to slip in a little camera time just before the sun set.

The end of summer brings a bounty of seeds ranging from the wanted

like this Asclepias tuberosa

to the I could use a few more of these self seeding but next year I won't leave any seed head on my Liatris Kobold

to the unwanted but I'm still impressed it can grow in this very shaded spot with poor, shallow soil where even the moss doesn't grow Dandelion.

Lastly the seeds of this Panicum virgatum (Switchgrass). This is a nice clumping native grass. I bought two varieties of it this year and was able to get at least 5 clumps from the overgrown pots.

After re-reading this posting I realize the theme isn't just fall bounty but also the continuing cycle of nature. From the end of the leaves and the flowers of this year will come the plants of next year. Trite, yes, but also true and a bit cheerful to remember as we enter the short days of winter that are coming all too soon and will last all too long.

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