Pretty Excited to Nuture Leaf Mold This Year

IMG_3662So 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!

My Ongoing Affair With Piet Oudolf

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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!

Composting Gives Me Purpose or Mother Of Worms

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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.

Longleaf Pine

I shot this photograph while touring the coastal plain of South Carolina. The Longleaf pine, Pinus palustris, is the probably the most majestic of the natives of the forest of the savanna reaching heights of 100 feet. The natural resistance to forest fires creates this particular habitat above of wide open spaces and pine needle beds. Early settlers of the states released their hogs to feed beneath these trees and the hogs took to the environment nibbling away at the saplings causing a disruption in the ecosystem. This disruption and endangerment to the tree, introduced by man, has consequences that continue today. One emergency that comes to mind is the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker, which is dependent upon this beauty for her seeds. But, don’t stop here if you are reading this post. There is so much interesting information available on the web including Wikipedia about this tree. The Longleaf Alliance might make a better read on this subject than my attempt here today, as well. Please go see.