Maple leaves in my backyard


So no garden blog in the fall would be complete without a leaf post.  We are lucky here in NC, to have all four seasons.  And the fall is one of my favorites, not just because of football, but the glorious parade of vivid changing leaves.  What is seemingly a mundane commute to work to RTP has turned into an unexpected leaf-peeping adventure.  Yep, I am talking about I-40.  Often the source of much frustration for the daily commuter but this season and most recently(before the big rain) it has transformed.  The juxtaposition of the brilliant red, yellow and orange leaves against the brilliant green of the lobby-lolly pines are spectacular.  You don’t have to drive 3 hours to Boone of 4+ hours to Asheville.  Our little piedmont has its own leaf-peeping adventure.  I love the changing of the leaves.

Now, what I hate about the leaves–the raking, sweeping, and cleaning of the gutters…need I go on.  Yep, that blister-creating activity is a tough one.  I compare it to grass-mowing in the summer months.  It is quite obligatory if you have a lawn.  And in some neighborhoods, I am sure you get the “hairy eyeball” from some southern home owners.  It is funny I read an article in Southern Living about a story of a new couple that moved into their Georgia home and their defining moment among the neighborhood was center around whether they bagged their leaves.  I never even thought about it….being judged by neighbors whether I bagged or heaped my leaves on the side of the curb.  Perhaps that is just a southern myth…I heap.  Judge me as you may…the City of Raleigh eventually comes by with a Dr Suess-looking contraption to suck them up.  This year, I am going to try to mulch them–but that is extremely laborious and back-breaking.  As if raking them uphill isn’t bad enough.

I look back at the falls of my childhood fondly for 2 reasons:

1) My parents had an “all natural” landscape so we never had to do either–rake or mow.  In hindsight, I think they got it right.

2) I remember jumping in the big pile of leaves at my friend Lauren’s house.  Her father would tirelessly rake them in piles…and then we proceed to destroy them with our frolicking. Now, I realize what a treat that was and how much work it took to make those piles.  So I must thank Ronald and other friends’ families where they raked the piles and my friends and me would destroy them for a little fun. Thanks for the hard work and the lasting leaf-jumping memories.

So that is what I love and hate about fall–the leaves.  How about you?


Japanese Maple--Brilliant Burgandy


Happy Raking.