Saturday, October 22, 2016

Milquetoast Boys

My grandmother told me her mother always warned her "beware those milquetoast boys". My husband makes poached eggs in milk and then serves me the eggs over toast and himself the leftover milk over a stack of toast. It was several years before it dawned on me that I had gone and married myself a "milk toast boy".  

But its a nice warm breakfast for a cool autumn day when the best thing to do is to stay inside and cook something.  I have a spicy scented candle burning and I'm sipping apple cider while I give the house a good deep cleaning right to the walls in preparation for holiday decorating.  Once I mark that off my list I am free to putter along with my creative projects as the mood strikes me knowing I can put them in place without discovering a layer of crud on a shelf.

Autumn is in full swing here.  We are enjoying a few days of steady moderate rain which we have not had in months.  We've had over cast days and the occasional deluge, but no quiet rainy days to rest inside the house.  We have been at peak color with absolutely beautiful clear days but the rain is finally bringing the leaves down in droves.  

Every 5 days or so we do a leaf cleanup which involves blowing leaves with the big gas powered leaf blower, and then mulching them into the lawn with the lawn mower.  We blow them out of corners, and out from under shrubs and out of the ground cover (as best we can) so that in the spring when we mulch all the landscape beds we don't have bushels of sodden, moldy leaves to deal with.   It takes one person four hours, or two people less than two hours.

And the next day it looks like this.

But I have to admit it is a little bit fun.  Except for the garden because you have to blow them out of the gate, and the gate is not on a corner.  Tim has even considered adding a leaf exit door to a corner panel for just this purpose.  Alternatively, you can blow all the leaves in a corner and then change to the leave sucker/chopper and vacuum them all up and make chopped leaf mulch out of them.  If you coordinate your efforts between the blower and the mower, you can move a lot of leaves in a big hurry.

Chopped leaf mulch is a wonderful thing to put onto your beds in the fall. Just remember to follow up with a light layer of compost so your leaves don't blow away.  In the spring, they leaves will be almost completely broken down and you will find scores of plump, happy earthworms in your garden.


  1. I've always used chopped leaves/grass clippings as a top coat for the raised beds--it sort of feels like I'm "tucking in" the worms for the winter.
    Enjoy that indoor time. It's such a nice break after all the hard labors of the garden.
    Happy Fall

  2. Collecting Autumn leaves is one of my least favourite garden jobs - and I usually leave it too late as well, and find that the leaves are soggy wet (which clogs up the leaf-sucker!). I put mine into a plastic compost-bin and let them rot down for a couple of years before using them.