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Posts Tagged ‘Leaf’


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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Yesterday was such a lovely sunny day here.  I was up early, prepared to meet the day .. for I had leaves to bag!!

Made my way over to my leaf source .. uh oh … work is ongoing at Saanich and McKenzie!  The much-needed sidewalk is now in place on Saanich Rd and now the beautifying steps, the paving .. is ongoing.  So I patiently waited for the traffic to move.   The left hand lane inching forward as motorists chose to move into the right land and then merge into the left.

Every time I started to feel impatient, on came the positivity hat.  Sometimes I just want to ditch that thing, but it sticks to my head like a magnet.  Oh well .. guess I’ll have to resign myself to a life of positivity.

Finally … traffic moves to a regular pace.   A hot-shot pulls out from behind and speeds along in the next lane.  I can fully empathize, my dear.

Finally, I reach my destination and start bagging the raked piles of leaves.  These “Handy Hands” are just amazing .. I can scoop enough leaves in one grab to partially fill a large garden bag.  The trick is to angle the scoops into the opening of the bag so as not to lose the precious cargo.   I develop the correct knack for doing this and soon have 10 bags plus 5 large Home Hardware bags filled.

Oh no … ran out of garden bags…  grabbed a box of garbage bags from the car and started filling them ..too small, says I and off I go to the local Canadian Tire.

Where I see, at the store’s entrance .. some fantastic long-sleeved cotton pullover t’s .. the kind I’ve been looking for!  Unfortunately, the lime green and bright yellow in my size are all gone, so I select orange, grey, red and a black.  Perfect for my gardening .. my arms will be fully covered.  No more (at least not too many) scratches from branches, thorns, insect bites.

Soon I’m back at my leaf source with another box of garden bags.  Shortly I have 20 more leaf filled bags .. tucked away .. ready to be stuffed into my car.  Speaking of which, I cram 5 large leaf filled garden bags and five plastic garden bags into my little Echo hatchback.  Determination .. thy name is Gardener!   What I won’t do to get lovely leaf mulch for my garden.

Back home, I begin the march of “remove bags from car .. to back yard … to mulch area”.  That dance finished, I now can take a quick-lunch break … and then it’s back to the yard.

First I finish weaving cut branches into my little cordoned leaf mulch area.  The finishing touch (well, now I think this should have been the good base for the fence) is the addition of trimmed bamboo branches.  It was a bit of a challenge to weave these into the fence, but determination and garden twine solved that problem.

Funny .. last year I’d used my precious mulch in this same area ..and had planted my main crop of garlic.  Only to discover that garlic needs full sun (oh, the things one learns along the way!).   Now I’m using half that space for my mulching station.  I stood back to admire the fencing .. how gentle and natural it looks.

And so the dance continues as I march the garden bags over and begin emptying them in that space.  Oh my .. I certainly have a good supply of leaves.  Once all of the bags have been emptied (I think 30 plus bags, I didn’t do a count) I see that the level is just past the top of the new little fence.

So I start the mulching process by watering the pile and the height diminishes.   Then .. here is the fun part .. (and I’m still in my gardening outfit, with my tall gumboots)… I climb onto the pile and step heavily, back and forth and all around.   This is fun .. as I flash back to my childhood days .. hey .. I am an adult and I still can play!! This greatly reduces the pile and soon the height is at the midway mark of the fence.

By the time spring has arrived, I will have turned this pile over many times so it will be much reduced, perhaps to the 1/4 line of the fence.  However, I still have 30 more bags ready to pick up in my car and bring over.  Plus I have another leaf source!!!   And .. there will be a local neighbourhood yard clearing up and I expect to bag more leaves.

Am I being obsessive?  As a Gardener, I think not!  Any true Gardener would go to such lengths in order to have some wonderful material to use in the garden, both veggie and perennial.  I know from experience how quickly the mulch will reduce in size.  And I also  know full well that this beautiful material, when piled thickly onto the garden .. will quickly reduce even further.  So I’ll gather all the leaves that I am able to gather because of that.

Oh well ..look at the time .. 9 am and there is so much to do today.   Outside of course!  I’m on my way to collect some lovely irises from a gardening pal .. and these I will plant today!!

How fun .. and so .. away I go … with my lovely daily life!

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Tuesday, October 25

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What a day I had yesterday!   Picture this .. it was sunny, the skies were clear.  Up early and ready to start my day .. I was looking forward to bagging leaves at my major leaf source.

Garbed in my garden gear, I set forth in my little car.  A supply of clear garden bags all nestled in the back of my car.  Gumboots, orange gardening gloves ( the heavy-duty, waterproof kind, the best for fall weather!) and my kneeling pads for scooping up leaves.

I arrive at my destination, park the car, gather my tools and head over to the first leaf pile.  Soon I’m happily scooping up the leaves and placing them in the first of 11 bags.  Hmm… this is going to be slow going, but well worth the effort.

Soon my hostess pops outside to say hello and we have a good morning conversation.  She leaves momentarily to fetch a gardening item to show me.

OMG .. I see gardening tools that I had seen advertised and scoffed at .. many times.  However, I’m now a believer and I want some .. badly!

She is holding out fully packed leaf scoopers!  Just with one fell swoop, she has gathered up an amount of leaves that would have taken me 5 minutes to gather with my two kneeling pads (I’d taken the cheap way out, using the pads to pick up leaves).

I try the scoops and am so very sold on these magic items.   Using them, I swiftly finish gathering up the first leaf pile.  Quickly go to a second and third.  Within half an hour I have filled up 11 large garden bags!  For a devoted gardener to whom leaf mulch is more valuable than gold (ok, I stretch the value a little, so sue me!).. these are just amazing.   And I send silent thanks to the innovative inventor.

When I think of the times that I’ve seen these things advertised and pooh-poohed them, like “who wants to spend good hard-earned money” etc., etc., etc.,  I am so sold on these things.

Anyway .. she kindly loads up her truck with the majority of the bags, and a few in my little car and we make the trip to my place.   Where I give the grand tour of my work in progress garden.   Chatting about this and that in the garden, I suddenly notice the woodpecker .. relaxed .. pecking away at the suet in the holder .. just a few feet from where we are standing.

But .. he isn’t flying away.  He is totally relaxed and comfortable with our physical proximity.  In fact, he is climbing around the suet holder, seeking choice bits.  And he’s still there.   This isn’t normal.  He always flies away when he senses any movement.  My leaf pal comments that animals accept her .. they always have.  I am just so amazed.  This is very good energy.

And I think to myself .. I aspire to have this energy.  Perhaps it’s time for me to practise calmness and not fret about every little thing.  To accept that I can only do one thing at a time.  Relax.  Not fret about landscaping the complete yard in one day.  Enjoy the journey.   I think about this later on.

I think about going inside for Y tea, but decide to drag the bagged leaves to the back yard.  Once that was accomplished, I decided to scoop up the windblown leaves from the front yard.  So I gather up my kneeling pads, don my gardening gloves and proceed to do that.  After about 10 minutes of scraping up the leaves, and with visions of the recently used leaf scoopers .. they kept flashing through my mind . .and I was thinking back to the morning .. how swiftly I was able to gather up the leaves .. and I couldn’t take it any longer.

Throwing everything to the ground .. I went to the car and decided to drive to our local Canadian Tire in search for these things.   I didn’t even change from my yard gardening outfit of mechanic’s overalls and my gumboots.  Who am I trying to impress, I am a gardener!  (Make that .. I am a Gardener!).

Soon I arrive at CT, look around the gardening section .. no joy!  I seek help from an associate … nope, no such item in the store.  What?  Disbelief!  Canadian Tire usually has everything that I need for gardening (except for, ahem, Lee Valley, that is!)

Exiting the store, I ponder the possibilities.  This is one of those heaven-sent days for working outside in the garden and I don’t want to waste my time driving all over the place.  Time is better spent in the yard.  Ok, I decide to head over to Home Hardware on Burnside.  Once there, I see the flyer proudly proclaiming their first birthday celebration will be happening soon (I think this weekend?)   Cake .. there will be cake!  I plan to attend.

And I remember their summer celebration  … I purchased quite a few annual flowering plants, which turned out to be drought tolerant and are still flowering!

I digress.  Entering the store, I make my way to the gardening section and waaaaah .. cannot see any of those garden thingies.   The cashier is helpful and searches their data base.  No joy.  The manager goes to another machine and makes a bigger search.   She is determined to find what I need.

Soon .. she has an item onscreen and quickly prints a copy for me to see.  Oh, most joyous moment .. there are the leaf scoopers!   However, none in stock.  She makes a quick call .. to an associate store and lo and behold, there are some available at the Oak Bay branch.  What a great lady!!!  She has them reserved for me and so I soon am on my way, making the long drive across town.

Grumbling to myself, what am I doing, spending valuable gardening time out driving .. on an on and on.  Then I think back to this morning .. the woodpecker being calm while in the presence of the good energy.  So I put on a change of attitude hat.  What a lovely beautiful day.  Sunny.  Traffic is sparse.

I think .. wouldn’t it be fun to have some brightly coloured leaf scoops .. orange would be pretty and cheerful and I visualize myself happily gathering up yellow/orange/bronze leaves for mulching.

Nah, there must only be grey scoops .. can’t imagine anyone going to the expense of creating a colour palette to choose from.

Oh, darn .. I’ve ended up driving down Douglas Street .. it’s noon and the streets will be full of traffic.  And so I sit at a series of red lights.  ahem .. a change of attitude hat takes place and soon I’m again enjoying the relaxing, slow drive up Fort Street.  While I’m stopped at each red light, I take a few seconds to glance around at my surroundings.

The street has gone through great changes since the last time I’ve been here.   Little stores have opened up.  Boutiques, funky “must have” objets d’art … and little restaurants.  On my right is an interesting little Lebanese place .. oh, I want to visit that place.

Soon enough, I’m in Oak Bay and parked in the lot behind Home Hardware.  Into the store I go and introduce myself to the cashier.  And .. Ta Da .. she reaches beneath the counter and hands me .. two sets of …. drum roll!

Orange leaf scoops!  Bright cheerful orange!  Oh, my, just really what I wanted!!!  And only $5.95 a pair!  I decide to take both pairs.  One for the yard and one for the car.  Now I’m all set.

Back in my car, I rip open the packaging of one set.   And another bonus, I find two sets of hand straps.  Quickly inserting the straps, I try on the scoops .. hee hee hee .. they fit like a glove and soon I’ll be using them.

Home Hardware .. I Love You!!!

Heading back home, I look forward to continuing on with my leaf collecting.  Then I remember that I promised DH to pick up some building items from Home Depot.   darn.  But, a promise is a promise, so I go home, pick up a sample of the item and in a few minutes I’m driving out towards the store location on Shelbourne.  My grumble hat is just settling in when I flip it away and toss on my change of attitude hat.  A good fit.

Finding a good parking spot, I begin my trek to the front entrance.  And decide to “just have a look” at the plant specials.   Not seeing anything that tugged at my heart, I begin to walk away … when I suddenly notice the most beautiful little pine tree .. it seems to say “I love you .. take me home” .. at least, that’s how I interpreted the feeling that came over me when I touched the sweet blue/green needles.  I felt a kinship with this tree, so headed inside to enquire about the price.

Suddenly noticed someone who looked vaguely familiar.  We did a double take . … you know, the kind of awkward moment when you bump into someone and there is something a little familiar, so you rapidly go through the image bank in your head .. flip, flip, flip.  And  .. recognition!

We hadn’t seen each other for nearly 3 years.  The last time, I was in such a frenzied space, cataloging files for archiving, working alongside a coworker from another location, borrowed for the purpose, with a very short timeline to finish.   So I only made time for a brief “hi” “by”.    And only weeks later I found out that she and her family were moving to a far away country for several years.  Oh, no, if only I’d made the time to stop and chat I would have wished her well on the journey.

Anyway, here she is.  And if I hadn’t promised my DH to pick up materials needed, and then was curious about the price of the tree, I wouldn’t have headed off in this direction and seen her!

We stood and talked for a long time .. during which the amiable sales guy searched for items that she was looking for and told us to just continue our visit, he would help us out.

So he found the price for my little tree (oh, wow, how can I not buy this tree!!) and loaded it up on a cart for me .. smiling all the time and helping us out as  C & I chatted and brought things up to date.  We exchanged e-mails and promised to get in touch!

I love my positive attitude hat!  What a difference it makes!

Life continues .. I return home, quick as a wink, I bag up 2 large bags of leaves from the front yard and start the process of taking them to the back.  After a quick lunch, outside I go.

Seeking a creative way .. still .. to organize my propagating area.   Then I borrow an idea from Swan Lake.  I look at the large pile of recently clipped fruit tree branches, and envision a little fenced area to hold the mulch.  A space where I can easily keep turning the leaves over and over and over again during the fall/winter/spring months.  The mental lightbulb flashes  on.   I search through our stash of aluminum sections, choose as many similar height/thickness little poles.  Space them in an L-shape.   Begin weaving the branches through to form little walls.

This is so cool .. so creative and it looks wonderful.  Soon I’ll go outside and finish the fenced area and will begin emptying the leaves into this space.

Oh happy day.  This is starting off to be a great day already and I haven’t gone outside yet!

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