So many folks in my neighborhood (Zone 8b) spend quite a lot of electricity and/or gasoline getting their fallen leaves in bags and onto the street curb these days. Not a lot of analog rake noises abound. And, here in my native deep South, the Live Oaks are the cause of so much local activity.
This candid culprit makes no apologies as it delivers a raucous leaf explosion this time of year. We love them so much whilst they herald the first day of Spring for us by shedding almost every dang brown leaf they have on board. With this kind of flotsam in an Oak lined drive….well, I get excited about the fallen leaves. They are so full of Nitrogen. Click here and here for all the great news!
The architectural firm of ZAA has done a brilliant job marrying nature on the outside with nuture on the inside. This Italian country villa is my idol. And, I am so delighted to find out that here in Zone 8b, my Hedura Ivy grows all winter, too! I will be covered in no time and be saving on my heating and cooling bills by this time next year. LUCKY ME! the Hedura was planted at the base of my brick veneer home so long ago that it has been dying to do exactly this for 60 years.
These photographs above are of my home’s brick veneer and I am happy to watch both Hedera Ivy and Fig Ivy (which is NOT an ivy at all!) in a foot race around the property to cover the facade. I adore all things English, and, turning an ordinary suburban home into something ecologically interesting is appealling to me. So, after much research online, I can happily denounce the old adage that Hedera Ivy will ruin your structure. We are living in a major climate shifting time, and, it is appropriate to begin exploring new ways to heat and cool our homes. And, tah dah!! In sashays Ivy. Check out this article from the UK, for instance. Okay, okay…if you don’t trust that propaganda, I won’t lead you astray. Here, here and here are the best sources to read about my favorite new Horticultural discovery. And, even though the UK seems waaaay more interested in these findings than the US, I live in an architecturally historically relevant town and the information might be all the BUZZ here soon enough.
If ever there were a Southern tree, this guy would be in line. And, my oh my, what a messy boy he is, too. This is the loot from just this morning! The genus classification of Sweet Gum is Liquidambar, named for the amber liquid that is resin that oozes from this valuable hardwood tree. And, even though I forget and walk barefoot past his territory in my back yard and shout “ouch!” from the seedpod and watch every Thanksgiving to Christmas as his leaves cover my garden, I still love him.