I love the leaves upon the trees
and as they're falling in the breeze;
and when they pile upon the ground,
I love their crinkly, crunchy sound
beneath my feet!
When I was a child, I liked to visit my grandmother's house in autumn. Her house was perched up on a hill, and there was a large rock retaining wall at the bottom. The grown-ups would rake mountains of leaves in front of the wall, and we children would take flying leaps off the top of the wall into them. I'm sure we undid most of the adults' hard work; but there was lots of laughter, and I don't remember anyone complaining. I was nearly an adult myself before I discovered that many people consider raking a chore and not a game.
I maintain a positive attitude about fallen leaves. They make excellent mulch, and I generally let them lie in the woodlands. We do rake them off the lawn and the paths. My neighbor gave us the lightweight Trooper rake seen in the photo above. It is 30 inches wide and does a terrific job.
I was out raking just a few days ago. It was a perfect day, and the fall foliage of my Japanese maples was at its peak. Here are some photos which illustrate why these are among my favorite trees:
After admiring the Japanese maples, I headed for the woodland garden:I like to keep the leaves off the moss paths, so the moss will grow better. While I was raking I noticed the woodland pot I nestled in an old rotting stump. The pretty leaves sprinkled all around reminded me of rose petals:
The leaves are falling from euonymus alata shrubs, aptly called burning bush:
Guess what's inside the pot:
A warning about burning bush: Although I have never seen any seedlings in my own garden and in fact one of the original five I planted died and had to be replaced, this is considered an invasive species and is even banned in some areas.
After raking the moss paths I studied the results:
I was glowing with satisfaction when a shower of leaves fluttered down in front of me. I laughed. One can't get too serious about raking my yard, but I will keep at it. If I waited till all the leaves were off the trees, I would be wading through over a foot of foliage. Now that would take real work to clear!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and remember this: Raking leaves can burn nearly 300 calories per hour, so if you are feeling guilty about that extra serving of turkey dressing, grab a rake and have some fun!