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.
Sometimes I declare out loud that my first Dutch love was Oudolf. And, of course, he SHOULD be everyone’s secret sharer as he plants his way into the hearts of all those who adore good design and their hometown, Planet Earth. The Dutch never cease to amaze me and I miss them very much but this man is one of their most important national treasures. Here is an article on his latest projects….Alstublieft!
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.
I have been looking online this morning at all the latest compost bins and tumblers on the market now. All of which, I realize, are totally unnecessary. Chicken wire and re-bar from the hardware store a few blocks over will suffice – just as a big ‘ole pile in the back of the yard will, also. However, when you rent space to live and have the tenant’s restrictions, you may need a tumbler or something with high production value. I have noticed over the last decade that the fancier, more green, more vinyl and more complicated looking the bin, the easier your flat mates, the upstairs neighbors and the landlords are with the whole process. I am still stupefied by the percentages of people unwilling to and terribly afraid of the compost. From Holland to my hometown, people literally fear the topsoil being made in the back yard. (And, in most cases, there is a paper mill or power plant not too far from their parking space…but, I digress.) Yet, in other situations, a designation of space and place can give an individual peace of mind and I understand that. I like to think of these crates as cribs for baby worms. Or, the nursery, if you will. So, for those of us who need a bin, these are a few eye-catching choices.