Fall Gardening Heresy

During one of those winter’s from hell a few years ago where people lost all sorts of stuff from their gardens, I made a startling discovery. A lot of the bushes, plants, green stuff that I had so meticulously raked leaves off of during the fall, croaked. The green stuff that had collected fall leaves around them, not only made it, but seemed to flourish.

So, voila, my fall raking habits took a turn for the “un-recommended.”

I now don’t rake leaves under any of the green stuff, bushes, plants, whatever, but instead, I not only leave the leaves, but actually heap extra leaves on top. I figure it’s worked for Mother Nature for millions of years, why shouldn’t it work for moi, even though everything I’ve ever read says that that would be “gardening heresy”.

And I figure all those leaves that are taken to the Newburyport City dump turn to “compost,” which, in the spring, people then go and get and put in their yards. Why not save a trip to the Newburyport City compost heap, and just have the process take place where I happen to live?

I also stopped cutting stuff back. More possible gardening heresy.

Nothing so far has croaked as a result of this highly “un-recommended” gardening strategy of mine. Instead I save hours not doing stuff that would drive me crazy. Little birds seem to like pecking at the dried up seeds that are left. And in the spring, depending on the green stuff, there are these little stick flags, sticking up, reminding me, that, “Oh yes, something grew there last spring. Let’s clear whatever may be on there now, and find out whatever it could be.”

And a lot of times, by April, the leaves that were left and heaped on all the green stuff, have disintegrated into nice, yummy dirt. Whatever hasn’t, then gets flopped onto various “decorative” mulch piles sitting about here and there.

And my late fall garden has a “relaxed,” Mother Nature look. Unlike the yards of my neighbors (obviously my “wayward” gardening habits have not spread) which have tidy yard appearances.

And I also have a ruthless, survival of the fittest, “gardening” style. My gardening procedure is that if the green stuff survives and spreads then, “eureka” the stuff stays and gets put other places around my dwelling. Of course this does limit things to select hardy selection. But it still looks Ok to moi. And I’m getting to the point where hassle less, low maintenance gardening stuff, is really working for me.

Mary Eaton