Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Leaf Littered Lane
Each season of the year is special in its own way if one takes the time to take a long look. The center of the lane marks the boundary of our land. We hold a right-of-way to use the other half of the lane but it matters not since our neighbors are easy to get along with. Leaf litter will be harvested here when the coming frost leaves the ground and we begin gardening once again. For now this is a truly beautiful place to walk on many levels. The scents and sounds created from moving across the fallen leaves and needles are tranquil and sooth the soul.
The white pine nurturing our transplanted arbutus is dropping its old needles at the same time that the hardwoods are shedding their leaves. If one looks at the upper part of the tree, occasional clumps of brown needles can be seen still attached to the branches. It may be that the new green needles push away the old growth after cutting of their nutrient supply and taking it for their own use. Unlike the maples and oaks, a white pine is always fully clothed in green. The brown mass of discarded needles is deep and slippery. To be honest, I must admit to pulling the dropped needles away from the arbutus leaves. Evergreen, they must have uninterrupted access to sunlight. Covering needles are not moved very far. Their decomposition will build acidic soil necessary if the arbutus is to flourish.
It does not get much better than this long view. The ridge belongs to another friendly neighbor but we look upon it as our own. Our view is free and we do have permission to walk the ridge. Coyotes, bears and perhaps wildcats call this area home so we tend to enjoy it from a distance. In my younger days, a hike to the top of the ridge was safely completed.
Garlic went to ground today in the manicured planting bed to the right. Twenty-seven rows were spaced eight inches apart. Placing two sections of fence, one rotated 90 degrees from the other, on the surface of the ground creates graph paper with two inch spacing. The end of the handle of the stone fork quickly punches planting holes. Place a hole, skip three, place a hole defines the rows. From a row hole moving along the other axis, skip two and place a hole results in six inch spacing within the row. If all two hundred seventy plants emerge, the order of the planting will be either too fussy or impressive. More work remains to be done here now. Molasses mixed with water will be sprinkled on the surface of the ground. That mix is reported to encourage beneficial soil organisms. Screened hardwood leaves will cover the surface. We would rather mulch than weed.