Blame the Leaf Mould?

 In the Wattle Woods.
Last Red Maple

Trying to encourage my reluctant bonfire, burning soggy loads of fallen autumn leaves, is such poor gardening practice. What on earth have I been thinking these last few days? Losing my leaf-mould-making confidence is no excuse. Shame on me!

Sunday 7th June

I consider myself well and truly told-off. The air around my soggy winter garden deserves to be smoke-free. That bonfire is reserved for stuff that has to be burnt - like cabbage tree leaves and gum tree debris. Today all the fallen oak and prunus leaves are going into bags.

I'll continue clearing out the middle of the Apple Tree Border. The mess will be too wet to burn, so that can be dumped on the boundary. Phew. I'm relieved that's been sorted out. A gardener can make enough mistakes without being embarrassed by her own bonfire. This smoky issue has arisen from last year's leaf mould not doing what it should have done.

I also need to do the following, in no particular order :

  1. Get another load of stones for path edging.
  2. Get a load of top-soil/compost for earth enriching.
  3. Rake the leaves in the Driveway Lawn.

Much, Much Later...

I've had a Cosine day. It started off full of fizz, at plus one. By lunchtime it had plummeted through zero into the bottom of the cosine trough. It wallowed for a while at minus one. I went to the dog-park and ate a caramel ice-cream. Gradually over the afternoon, with a little bit of help from Non-Gardening Partner, it managed to get back above the x-axis and back to plus one again. Phew!

I've cleared the Apple Tree Border, digging out an ageing Phormium and three Anemanthele grasses, and pruning dead canes off the climbing Moonlight rose. I don't like how bits of this rose die. It's a beautiful rose when flowering, but very hard to keep tidy.

 Growing up an old apple tree.
Moonlight Shrub Roses
Lamium :
Oh well. Some things are meant to be? It was here when I arrived, anyway.

Just before lunchtime I removed some rotting pieces of fence, plus loads of weeds, from the Pond Paddock's side border. The lemon-yellow flowering Lamium that I'd so proudly 'eradicated' a couple of years ago is back, brighter, bossier, and better. I've decided to give up and let it be. Digging out Lamium is now reclassified as one of Life's little futilities, if there is such a word. And the flowers are really pretty in spring.

Monday 8th June

Well, what a difference a day makes! This morning I am full of beans. My gardening life is a success (that was quick). I am so lucky! I love being outside with my dogs. I don't get too much snow, etc. in winter. I can almost garden every single day of the 'bleak' season. I love my garden.

 Nearly mid-winter.
Jelly-Bean Border with Red Fence

But there's more. I love my gardening boots, and I love my piano. These two items are not necessarily related. I love Bach's Partita in C minor, and I love the way the phrases lean and tumble over the bar lines. Well, they do when I hear and play it. And I love Schumann's piano sonatas. They are so passionate and quirky. Actually, I love all the piano music I am playing at the moment.

 What a beautiful winter coat!
Winnie the Young Border Collie

Now it's time to rake up more leaves. I do this gladly, with a happy heart. The dogs just love doing things. Almost anything will do. By the way, I love my dogs. But you knew that...


I can recommend leaf-raking as an activity guaranteed to warm up even the slowest gardener, causing the shedding of various winter layers of clothing. Ruddy pink cheeks, and a lawn dotted with black plastic bags, are colourful consequences. And not burning the bonfire feels do much more environmental, virtuous even. So what if my leaf mould is again a failure? Not a problem.