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Too (many) leaves or not?

  • Too  (many) leaves or not?
  • Too  (many) leaves or not?

Autumn may be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, but, as we tumble rapidly towards winter, it is undeniably the season of leaves. At the moment the trees are half bare and, I have to confess that however much I keep looking in dread at the swirls of soggy leaves collecting in corners, the colours are wonderful this year. The trees seem to have gradually thinned out, and, against grey skies or in the misty sunshine, the trees look glorious. Dark branches silhouetted against shades of red orange and yellow.

The downside of course is that the other half of the tree's leaves are pooling into soggy (and often slippery) heaps. It never seems worth the effort to rake them up when I know there is still the same amount to come down, so I restrict myself to emergency clearing of the area where the grass is most likely to die (which mainly seems to be under the ash and willow trees, where the small narrow leaves smother the grass. On the other hand, clearing away leaves to the leaf mould heaps is a very satisfying task for our clients at Thrive . It can be an easy straightforward and social activity and the results are obvious. Until the following day of course, when the next load have fallen ready for our next group of clients! At least its a great job on the sunny crisp days we have had - not so good on the grey wet/warm weather that those days seem to alternate with!

But leaves are also great things for indoor craft activities - we have been leaf rubbing, creating leaf pictures, autumn wreaths to name but a few activities. If you need some more ideas, have a look at or search for "leaf craft ideas" for inspiration.

In the meantime I am going to continue hoping for more crisp frosty mornings, with the leaves snowing from the trees. And, if no one is looking, I'm going to find the biggest drift of leaves I can find and walk through it kicking my feet and spraying leaves in all directions - and hope for a big enough storm to blow them all out of my garden before I have to clear them away!!

Comments (3)

  1. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    Oh, I love the autumn leaves, Trish! Making leaf mold has to be one of the simplest, cheapest things that we do in the garden, on the grounds that we have to rake them up anyway, so they might as well be packed into pens, well wetted, and left for two years.

    But I quite like your idea of hoping for a crispy, frosty morning, so we can kick them about!

  2. Grower

    Angie's Garden

    My wee grandson is now of an age where kicking and running through piles of autumn leaves is the best fun ever! Between the leaves and puddles we have a wonderful time. I can't wait for a decent snow fall.
    I am waiting the last of the leaf fall to have a proper clear up.

  3. Grower

    Rachel the Gardener

    I used to grumble at having to clear leaves up before the last of them had fallen, but now I don't mind: mostly because "little and often" is less of a strain, but mostly because I get to see how much damage fallen leaves can do.

    On the lawn, they ruin the grass: mats of leaves leaves pale, browned patches behind. On the paths, they can form slippery masses - and many of my Clients are what I call Senior Folks, ie a bit wobbly on their pins!

    And on shingle or gravel, they make an awful mess if allowed to sit until they start to disintegrate - not only are they then harder to rake off, but as they fall apart they are dropping organic matter into the matrix of the shingle or gravel, creating germination zones for grass and other weeds, which in turn creates more work for me.

    So I have grown accustomed to finding "rake up leaves" on my joblists at this time of year, week after week! All I can do is keep my fingers crossed for high winds!

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