Tuesday, October 16, 2007

an extra week

Did you ever have one of those times when you're running around like a headless chicken, and suddenly, unexpectedly, you are given the gift of time? Well, that's what happened to me today. I've been scurrying around trying to get all of my fall chores done and feeling like I must be getting very old and very slow. There is so much left to do outside, and it's raining almost daily, and how am I going to do this?? Then today I realized that Mark doesn't leave for a week THIS Sunday - it's on the 28th - we have a whole extra week to wrap things up before his business trip! Hallelujah! I'll still be planting tulip bulbs and shredding leaves for next year's mulch when he's gone, but we will have time to get all the big stuff done. I cannot tell you what a load was lifted from my shoulders when I slowed down enough to realize this!

So now I need to do a little blog housekeeping. Violetlady gave me this wonderful award a few days ago. Thank you so much! I love it! I apologize for not thanking you sooner, but it is truly appreciated. She wrote on her blog:
The "Change Begins At Home" award originates from Bean Sprouts and is given to bloggers who live what they preach, who try to make the changes in their own lives that they would like to see in the world.
I guess maybe after my epiphany this morning, I can lay some claim to this nice tribute - I think it would be lovely if we all slowed down enough to enjoy and appreciate the things around us - especially all of our thoughtful blogger friends. Thanks Violetlady!
I am making progress on the fall prep front. The shed is nicely loaded - I have a few things left to throw in before we close the door for the winter, but this weekend I managed to get a lot of stuff cleaned up and stashed away.
I have become a zealot about the amendments I use on my gardens - and using what I get for free instead of spending money. Every summer I pull weeds from the lake to compost. Every fall I have the task of moving the partially composted pile to the various gardens. I mound compost over the crowns of all my roses and clematis, add it to the tomato spaces (to be worked in next spring), add to any gardens that seemed to struggle this summer, and then if there's any left, I choose a garden to amend. I don't work anything into the soil at this time of year, but by next spring all of that partially composted material will be like black gold for the gardens. I still have this huge task to do - but once I get started, it usually goes fairly fast.

The other big job I do is collect fallen leaves. I save some whole leaves to put on the gardens over the winter. I used to put about a foot of leaves on every garden, but now I pretty much just protect things that are marginally hardy here - and cover up any bare dirt so the dogs aren't tracking it into the house all winter. Next spring, I'll rake the whole leaves off the gardens so the soil can warm up, and put them in the compost bin. I shred the rest of the leaves and put them in a mulch bin to use as summer mulch on the gardens. I used to spend between $100 and $200 for shredded cypress - every year! Yikes! No more - the leaves add good things to the soil - and, in my humble opinion, look nicer. I go all around our area - about a 10 mile radius - collecting bags of raked leaves that would otherwise end up in the yard waste collections. I don't know if they incinerate yard waste here or put it in landfills - but I do know the leaves are put to much better use on my gardens!! I've started collecting leaves and have maybe 1/4 of them shredded. Still a lot left to do.
These are all things reblooming in the garden right now - I have several more photos to share - so maybe I'll get more posts up this week!! And I hope to visit all of you very soon. You're all so nice to keep visiting with me when I'm being such a slug - thanks! :)


Kitt said...

Send an extra week my way?

All the rebloomers are beautiful. A perfect reward for all the hard work you do.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Beautiful blooms as well as a thoughtful post.

Connie said...

Pretty blooms! The late season flowers are always a special gift.
What type of leaf shredder do you have? I am thinking of investing in one....looking at an electric model.
(Have been using the lawn mower thus far.) I also use shredded leaves for mulch on my beds and even containers .. it sure saves on watering.

Susie said...

Congratulations on the award. That's one I've never seen in blogland!
I enjoyed reading about how you compost and gather the leaves. Sounds like lots of work, but your gardens are so lovely it obviously pays off.

Laurie & Chris said...

I can't believe you still have all those blooms! I only have mums blooming.
Congratulations on your award!!
The leaves sound like a good idea to me. We aren't allowed to put our leaves in bags we just rack them to the curb and the city works come by and pick them up the will not take them if they are in bags. What do you shreaded them with?
Have a good night!! Glad you have more time then you thought:~)

kate said...

You deserve the award! I'm glad you have found an extra week. It will make a big difference and give you some breathing room.

The flowers still blooming in your garden add some wonderful colour!

peter hoh said...

I've been enjoying the reblooms, too. Saving leaves is a lot of work, but it's very rewarding. Congrats on collecting so many from your neighborhood.

Dirty Fingernails said...

congrats on your award.. Lovely flowers still blooming in your yard!!! Enjoy that extra week..

Rosehaven Cottage said...

Isn't it great when your own mistake buys you more time you thought you didn't have? I love when that happens! I really like your composting ritual. I do something similar to what you do except I don't have to put out compost for winter because it doesn't get cold enough here. I bought a chipper/shredder to turn my clippings into instant mulch. Much cheaper in the long-run for sure! Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Sandra said...

What are the yellow flowers in the second picture? They grew wild around my grandmother's home and I have always wanted to plant some, but no one knows what they are called and it is too far and too many states away to go get some and transplant.