Here is my newest garden creation.
Yes, it looks like a pile of leaves--and, no wonder, because that's what it is--but, more importantly, it's leaf mold in the making. I've been wishing for a place where I could pile up dried shredded leaves in the fall and shovel out rich leaf mold in the spring, one or two years hence. With such a small plot of land, there's not much extra space. At last, the long overdue demolition of a playhouse in a back corner of the back quarter acre offered an ideal location, tucked-away but still accessible. Now I have a spot for watching the leaves molder--the winter version of summer's sport, watching the grass grow.
The two main trees dropping leaves on my yard are a weeping beech and a rag-tag maple. I raked up their leaves and mowed over the piles twice. Given that I had to use a gas mower to chop up the leaves, there may be an environmental false economy in this organic endeavor . . . but it felt like the right thing to do nevertheless. I heaped the chopped leaves into a pile. More ambitious gardeners use plastic bags, wire cages, or garbage cans to produce leaf mold.
The mold will be used to top-dress beds, mulch plants, and generally improve soil condition. Now, if only I could collect leaves from my neighbors' yards . . . .