"Have you thought about writing your family history, but found yourself stuck from the start? Writing a family narrative can be a daunting task, but Karen Jones Gowen found a way to bring her mother's story to life." (Homespun Magazine)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tucking in the Garden

When I moved out West from Illinois 30 years ago, I remember being surprised to hear people with lawns bashing trees. "I don't like trees on my property. They kill the grass, plus there's all those leaves to rake in the fall."

Huh? Grass is nice and all but nothing that special. Once settled into our home, my husband and I set about to plant trees everywhere we could, first at one home then the next one, where we live now. It had about 6 or 8 trees on the property; we planted another 10 or 12.

As for having to rake the leaves, well, yes that's part of it. In fact, we spent two hours today doing just that. It was nice. Raking the leaves is the last loving act one performs for their yard. Then we gathered them up and lay them over the garden like a warm blanket, to cover it all winter. After months of rain and snow, the leaves will break down into the soil, enriching it for spring planting.

I noticed that the trees, now barren of their leaves, had many dried pears, apples or edible berries still hanging on the branches like Christmas ornaments. These will feed the birds that winter over. How can anyone not love a tree? Now the trees, the garden, the yard and the birds are all ready for winter. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.


  1. Awwww!!!! Thank you for planting trees and loving them!! Trees are brilliant - I hug one whenever I can and am not in danger of getting arrested!!

    Yay for trees and all the fun stuff and creatures that live, grow and depend on them!!!!

    Take care

  2. I don't know about the "let it snow" part but I agree with you about the rest of the post. I felt like I was "called" to my property because of the park-like (messy park-like) setting. We had scores of trees but that didn't stop us from planting even more. My neighbor is a gardener and he hates trees too. In fact the one tree he had he cut down as soon as he bought the house. We had to remove two peach trees that were close to his side because he was "allergic to fresh fruit." And believe it or not he has a leaf blower which he uses to blow the stray leaf back onto our land. I don't care about the leaves just the noise of the darn machine!

  3. I don't understand not wanting a tree or two or sixteen in your yard. To me they are psychologically important.

  4. Jerry, I don't get it either, but reading Elana's comment above shows that plenty of the *freaks* exist among us LOL.

    Elana, Omigosh I know people just like this! With their leaf blowers and all. I'm sorry you had to cut down your peach trees!

    Old Kitty, you are making me laugh with your tree hugging and not getting arrested LOL.

  5. Here's the odd part...
    There are zero ornimental grasses that are native to the US... Not only do lawns suck up a ton of water, they also don't give shade, they don'e serve as home to many animals, and they just don't look as good as nice tree...

  6. I adore trees and don't mind sweeping up leaves. I love them in all seasons. You can't beat a red winter sky with dark branches silhouetted against it. Let's embrace the seasons - and the trees.

  7. We do the same thing with our leaves--in fact, we should get the last batch raked up and spread over the garden later today. Mother Nature's recycling system--way better than sending them to the landfill. :)

  8. The first thing I did when I moved in to my home is have the diseased and dying trees (5 of them) removed. This yard had been terribley neglected. Then I went out and bought 7 more and planted them myself. I don't rake all the leaves, just the large red oak leaves that make drifts between the houses. I run the mower over the rest and make lawn mulch.

  9. Catherine, And of course being a tree fanatic, I am wondering what kinds you took out and what kinds you planted? Besides red oak that is. I love the variation in the leaves, and raking them I can see the different shapes, colors and even textures.

    Linda G., Isn't it a great feeling to know you are doing it right? Before we had our garden, we filled our trash cans with the leaves. I like this way so much better.

    Christine, I'm with you. Trees make life beautiful. And they're what I most often focus on while daydreaming and staring out the window.

    Pat, Living in a desert state, grass doesn't make a lot of sense, although it makes a nice ground cover and keeps toxic weeds down and it was here when we bought the house. However, we've taken over half of it out, replacing with trees, a pond, pathways and garden 'rooms'. One entire stretch of boulevard we took out and replaced with river rock. Taking out the grass has been a lovely creative endeavor, and we still have quite a bit left.

  10. that was surely beautiful, I am with you in the garden... thanks for your words of encouragement re: my menopausal journey on my blogg : )


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