autumn composting ..

first maple leaves turning ..

in autumn .. when i’m in the garden .. my head in a bed .. my fingers are somehow .. as though of their own volition .. moving through the plants .. picking out dead leaves and debris .. cleaning .. hunting for dead, damaged and/or diseased .. yellowing leaves .. broken branches .. fallen stalks .. all in the process of decomposing .. dead leaves hanging on by a thread .. a web .. a filigree .. still taking energy from the plant to complete the process of dying .. my eyes and hands work together .. seeing .. picking .. cleaning the bed of what is now irrelevant debris .. taking that debris to the compost pile .. building and rebuilding .. eventually taking it back to the beds .. in a new form .. and repeat .. and repeat ..

i’m a maintenance gardener .. i have worked in many gardens over the past twenty plus years .. loved them all .. cared for each one .. as i care for my own .. there is nothing i would rather be doing .. and one of my favourite tasks in the garden is making space for composting to happen .. and no other season brings that to the forefront for me than autumn .. if i did nothing else in a garden .. this is what i’d do .. create spaces for this natural process to take place .. compost .. it’s alchemy .. of a kind .. turning garden debris to garden gold .. magic ..

a beauteous pile ..

i love cleaning garden beds ..  moving from plant to plant .. examining .. seeing what each plant might need from me .. snip a broken branch .. cut down dead stalks .. deadhead to eek out the last few blossoms .. meanwhile .. creating piles around me of debris .. leaving traces of my presence .. filling my wheelbarrow with the assorted piles .. filling the compost bin .. then .. filling my wheelbarrow .. taking finished compost back to each bed .. dumping .. spreading it lovingly around the plants .. across the bed .. feeding .. nourishing .. settling beds in for the winter .. lucky beds .. lucky me ..

autumn .. what a wonderfull season for a gardener ..

a wise old man ..


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