Saturday, 19 November 2016

Question for Gardeners

The logic of leaf cover has had Garden PA scratching his head ... and I actually understand his conundrum.
To top it off , after HEARING our leaf blower/sucker grind noises into my head I repeated about fifty thousand times "go get a new one !!" ... finally much to the relief of my ear drums and perhaps neighboring ear drums .. he did ... and even a new one is almost as noisy.
I know, ear plugs, we did.
OK .. so now for the question .. when you shut down your garden for winter .. do you use leaf litter for mulch ?
My logic is suck up the "whole" leaves .. mulch through blower, and then use it for cover.
Whole leaves might stop rain/snow from "moisturizing" (girly term) the soil thus the plant.
Cut up leaves cover but also leave the area open for that moisture.
Poor Garden PA just does what he is instructed to do .. forget how neat and clean things looked before the BACKWARD? step

Speaking of odd things .. which happens a lot in my garden anyways.
How about this Parsley fern looking incredibly green and lush !
The heuchera below it looks amazing as contrast to it ...
One of my favorites is Golden Spirit cotinus .. I am trying to train it into a small tree as I once had.
Gorgeous leaves right ?
Do you have "hardy cyclamen" ? .. I planted bulbs last Autumn and now ? it has foliage ?
Should I have hope there will be flowers next August ?
The two Autumn Ferns I have in different places in the garden are GREEN and lush.
Probably not for long now because a hard cold front is coming our way finally.
It has been unnaturally warm .. actually going up to 19 or 20 today ... this is not right !!
The hellebore bed has been tucked in with a bit of compost and peat moss.
Fingers crossed for some pretty flowers next Spring!
A look down the main drag.
My first perennial euphorbia and it is quite an amazing little plant.

Some of the spireas have held on to gorgeous colour as this little one has.
This mini me grass (Piglet .. I think) just caught my eye because it tried so hard this season.
In the end the leaves from our Pacific Sunset Maple grabbed my attention from start to finish.
I love this tree and it is the heart of the back garden ... do you have a "heart" to your garden as well?


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Right at this moment the Coral Bark Maple is the show in my garden. Such lovely colorful leaves. The bark will be beautiful this winter too. Your garden looks great. I don't mind seeing some leaves in the garden. There will be plenty of leaves in my beds this year. I don't mind that either. I think it is good for the beds. They have been cleaned out a couple of times and mulched. There are more yet to come down and they will stay as is. That tiny grass is a hoot. I would probably forget it was something I planted and pull it out as a weed. ha..Winter is making it's nearness felt today. The wind is howling and it is cold.

outlawgardener said...

Howdy Joy! I use leaves as mulch but am too lazy to cut them up. Those that fall on the lawn and paths get shredded with the mulching mower but those that fall in the beds beneath the trees stay. We have so much rain here in the winter that I don't have to worry about moisturizing. By summer, most of the leaves have decomposed. One exception is magnolia leaves which are huge and take forever to break down. Those get either shredded or thrown in the yard waste container.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello Lisa girl : )
I wish I could see that Coral Bark tree .. it must be beautiful!
Yes I always have leaves on the garden beds .. I think it "tucks" in the plants for winter and it is always such a nice surprise to uncover them and find Spring bulbs peeking up.
We have heavy wet snow falling and more to come overnight and tomorrow .. it really is winter like now .. brrrr !

Peter hello there : )
I hear you about the magnolia .. our neighbor used to have one .. messy!
Yes .. our leaves are nice and healthy now .. no more black tar spot so I don't feel undecided as to whether it is a good option or not .. I say let them FALL ! haha
You are so lucky about the rainfall .. we never know what will happen here each year now.
I am glad I don't live near you or I would make a pest of myself and insist youtake me on all road trips to garden centers ! haha

Rose said...

What beautiful fall color you have, Joy! I was walking around a bit this morning and noticed, too, how colorful my spirea is. I didn't realize that when I bought it, so I'm appreciating the added bonus to this plant. I don't have a leaf shredder/mulcher, or else I would definitely spread chopped leaves over the garden. The wind usually blows lots of leaves into my garden anyway, and I leave them till spring. I think they help protect many of the plants, especially heucheras that have a tendency to get heaved up. As for the parsley--I have had some stay green all winter!

Nadezda said...

Beautiful autumn garden, Joy. Lovely spireas, maple. All leaves of my garden are in compost bin now and snow was up. But the weather is changing and temps are high up to +6 C so I do not know what to think about this November...

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello Rose girl ... I just saw that picture of the frozen zinnia and it was stunning !
Yes I am a fan of spirea and will highlight them when ever I can .. they really are a pretty shrub especially Spring and Autumn.
Yes the wind blows the leaves around but funny enough they stay off my pathways and stay in the garden beds .. good for them ! We have snow cover at the moment .. but who knows what kind of winter this will be with the way the weather has been going.

Thank you Nadezda girl .. loved your snowy shots from your garden !
It is a challenge to predict what our weather will be across the world really .. I just hope to get through this winter without too much die off and look forward to Spring bulbs and plants smiling again ... fingers crossed for all of us ! LOL

Jennifer said...

I have wanted to grow cyclamen outdoors for sometime, but didn't think they were hardy here. I am looking forward to seeing how yours does. Love all the leaves you are showing. I need a smoke bush!
I am as confused about leaves as mulch as you are Joy. You hear so many conflicting things. I know Margaret of A Way to Garden is against using whole leaves as mulch. She seems to think that small spring bulbs won't be able to make there way through a covering of leaves. She also thinks to think that letting the leaves remain where they fall encourages mice and voles.
Call me lazy, but I do let the whole leaves sit where they fall. Nobody rakes the leaves in a forest, I reason. Crocus come up just fine. I do agree with Margaret that the leaves do provide cover for mice and voles. I have had a little damage from voles, but not enough to make me less lazy. The only negative I see is the whole leaves do take awhile to break down. It is faster for them to decompose and add nutrients to the soil if you break them down. Have a great weekend!!!

RobinL said...

You're asking the wrong girl. I barely have any leaves! My trees are small, and the leaves just blow away. I doubt that I'd leave leaves (tee hee) laying in my beds. I'd be too afraid of fungus, mold and diseases becoming prevalent. I try to only grow plants that are hardy in my area and don't require leaf cover to keep them safe. If they don't make it through the winter on their own, well, they haven't made the cut! Just leaves me room for something new. Because our autumn lasted an extra long time this year, I enjoyed seeing some plants begin to flourish in the cooler weather. I forget that not everything thrives in the summer heat.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello Jennifer girl !
I am so curious about these cyclamen too .. I think I planted 3 bulbs last Fall but seeing the growth just now a year later is strange right ? .. I will follow them if they peek up in the Spring hopefully so you can see how they do.
YES ! You have to have Royal Purple and Golden Spirit in close proximity so the contrast will shine .. mine are on opposite sides of the garden because I wanted Golden Spirit close to the deck doors to see it.
I have had whole leaves on the garden for years and never had a problem with Spring bulbs (albeit even the small ones) manage to shine under them .. my gardens aren't big enough to worry about mice and voles so that problem isn't one I have either thankfully.
Hey every gardener has issues but when things are working well for you there isn't a need to change .. your leaves do what they do and Spring will be here to rake and do a bit of clean up in any case .. the plants are going to do what THEY do too .. in spite of us ? LOL

Hello there Robin girl .. I haven't had a problem with fungus or mold with my leaves, I think people get too caught up in that issues unless you truly have an issue with it .. but fallen leaves are a natural asset a majority of times in the garden .. some gardeners call it natural gold in fact.
The type of winter we have really plays a major dictator in how our plants survive that season .. even the hardy ones can be zapped ... I have had that happen and made me wonder about it .. and then I have had higher zone plants make it through with no problem .. some times there is no logic as to why some plants die and others make it through.
But YES ! you are so right girl .. an exiting plant makes room for a new one !


Hi Girlfriend,

Your fall garden looks amazing. It's probably covered with snow now, isn't it? I hope you got to see your chippy before winter set in.

An email is forthcoming. Hugs.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Those leaves are like a rainbow on the ground...

Have a Merry Christmas :)

Nadezda said...

A very Merry Christmas to you and I wish you also good health in the New year!

KL said...

Ah! your garden is looking so interesting even in the middle of this winter. I didn't see where you are exactly located but I think somewhere in Canada, and so it must be pretty cold there by now. Huh! you and I got the same Rainbow Euphorbium (spelling wrong) this year. Yes, amazing plant with amazing flowers.

I don't clean any leaves during winter as such leaves are habitats for smaller animals like insects, frogs, salamanders, etc; birds and other bigger animals use such whole leaves for their winter nests. But, in spring I pull them up in the leaf-mulcher, break them up and then either compost them or use as ground-cover (mulch).

Merry Christmas, Happy HOlidays, Happy New Year

Lona said...

Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas!!

Barbarapc said...

In a perfect world I would have a leaf shredder. Pardon me. In a perfect world I would have a man to shred my leaves. I end up with some leaf cover - other clean - and then all h*** breaks loose. Next time/life I shall have a garden of tidiness. I miss the bits of colour in the late fall garden. It was a great year this year - today it's a day of grey and rain. Carex Ice Dancer looking fabulous. You really have to hand it to the Carex family - such hard workers. Hope you have an excellent 2017!!!! Best wishes. B.