|John's cousin Janice and her husband Jim will soon be heading to Palm Springs for the winter, but in the meantime, they're enjoying the better view they're getting of Lost Lagoon now that the leaves are falling.|
|Here's what they see from the balcony of their West End apartment. There's still a lot of leaves to come down, but the colours are beautiful.|
John's cousin Janice and her husband Jim are double winners when the trees around their West End apartment start losing their leaves at this time of year. Not only do they gain a water view of Lost Lagoon across the way, but other people have to deal with the fallen leaves -- Janice and Jim don't have to lift a finger.
I was thinking of that when we got home after having lunch with them this week. Remember all the trees in my garden that I was so proudly showing off this summer? Now is the time I pay the price. Raking, scraping, hauling and piling are all part of the deal when your garden is full of trees and shrubs, and perennials that wilt and yellow at summer's end.
A couple of afternoons of work later, my sidewalks are cleared of leaves, the withered hostas and forest of pale yellow Solomon's Seal are in the compost, and my tumbling tower of drying sweet pea vines is cleared and down. The wall of Shasta daisy stalks, the blackened peonies and the invading forces of Ladies Mantel have all been conquered for the year.
I still haven't put in my spring bulbs, but as I passed the Pink Dawn Viburnum today, I noticed a fragrance, and pale pink flowers opening. The next round in the garden has already begun.
|Before the big cleanup: a sad-looking patch of withered Solomon's Seal.|
|After the Solomon's Seal is gone to the compost, the bare earth isn't pretty, but at least it's neat.|
|Before the cleanup; lots of leaves and falling-over plants on the walkway from the back gate to the house.|
|After the cleanup, a barer -- but tidier -- look. The blue tarp on the right covers compost that will be spread in the spring.|
|Primroses barely visible among the fallen leaves.|
|All --well nearly all--cleaned up. I think I like the messy version better.|
|A pre-cleanup view of the back garden. The bed to the left has a green clump of overgrown Ladies Mantle. The higher green thing in the middle is the tower of sweet peas. To the right is a bank of Shasta daisy stalks.|
|Similar view, but showing the Solomon's Seal in the centre left.|
|And here it is, barely recognizable after cleanup. The tower in the middle is gone, but I left the fuchsia there-- it's a perennial and still blooming.|
|Before the cleanup, the steps in the front garden are barely visible.|
|All neatened up!|
|The compost pile: where all that foliage ends up. I'm hoping the worms will have a good winter digesting all this stuff.|