Welcome to my Western Pennsylvania garden. Join me on a "Walk Down the Garden Path".

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Garden Bloggers Muse Day - October 2008

Gathering Leaves
by Robert Frost

Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.

I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.

But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.

I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?

Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.

Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who's to say where
The harvest shall stop?

Unlike Frost, I have a definite use for the seemingly hundreds of thousands of leaves that will start to cover the ground this month. As an aside, have you ever tried to estimate how many leaves are on a tree, I do it every year because there are so many, I want to know how many! Back to my multitudes of leaves. We will rake them up, using a tarp or plastic garbage can to help transport them, and then dump them into the garden to be tilled in and allowed to work their magic on that soil. Sometimes we use the shredder to help them on their decomposing way but not always. I guess it depends on how much time we have to deal with them. I know a lot of people don't enjoy raking leaves, but it doesn't bother me.

Happy Muse Day! Head to Sweet Home and Garden Chicago for more muses.


tina said...

Robert Frost? See I am learning a lot about poetry. I have very rarely wondered how many leaves are on a tree. I think if you count the number of leaves that fill a garbage bag, then multiply that by the number of garbage bags full of leaves you might have a roundabout figure, one I wouldn't even be able to fathom. I love to rake! I just don't like doing it every day. Glad to hear you use the leaves in the gardens as they are a free source of compost.

Cathie said...

LOL! I loved that poem; thank you for sharing it with us!

Hey, I have a question; I see that you are following my blog, and I would like to follow yours too, but I can't find the link to do so. Can you tell me how to do that?


Happy leaf-ing! I cannot wait till the maples and sycamores start shedding their leaves, because I'm going to snarf them up and use them to amend the soil in my flowerpots. Right now only the black walnut leaves are on the ground and I know they'll retard plant growth.... no thanks, lol...


Rose said...

Robert Frost has always been one of my very favorite poets, but I don't remember ever reading this one! Thanks for adding to my "anthology," Cindy. We have so many leaves here, that I can't begin to rake them all, but I do rake up wherever they get too thick and put them in the garden or the compost pile. Great, free nutrients for the soil!

Cindy said...

Tina ~ yes, I have used a similiar method when I tried to do my leaf estimating. Purely a mathematical exercise for no matter how many, they all must be dealt with. It's nice to find someone else who likes to rake :)

Cath ~ That poem just flows so nicely, doesn't it.
About following, I added the gadget to my sidebar, so just find it there and you can start following!
I never knew that about black walnut leaves, although I would like a tree. My parents have one and it was a favorite of us kids.

Cindy said...

Rose ~ You're welcome. It's always nice to find a new poem by a beloved poet. I bet you do have a lot of leaves with that Mighty Oak you have.

Gail said...

Lovely Muse Day post...I love to walk through leaves on city streets...the sound and smells are sense memories for me! We shred the leaves and add them to the beds and the rest go to a leaf mulch area to become garden humus!


Cathie said...

Black walnut trees (and maybe all walnut trees?) produce a chemical called "juglone" in their roots and leaves, and it's a plant-growth inhibitor. It prevents competition in their root areas. (Did you ever think a tree would go for chemical warfare?!) I've heard that raspberry vines will grow under black walnut trees, but I notice that in my neighborhood, basically nothing grows near them, not even grass or weeds. The trees are absolutely magnificent, but I think they need a big yard if you want to have a garden, too.

Bramblemoon Farm said...

Oddly when we lived in the city we had an over abundance of leaves, but now in the country we don't have near as many. I simply add them to compost or leave them in a pile near our scrubby area. Thank you for the lovely poem. I've always loved Robert Frost.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely poem for Muse Day. Robert Frost is one of my favorites. I like to compost some of my leaves & use some as a winter mulch for my perennial beds.

Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

Hey Cindy,

I adore Robert Frost and that was a wonderful selection of his work for October Muse Day. Thanks for joining us.

Dave said...

Frost is my favorite! As for estimating leaves I don't think I would ever come close. It's like the jellybean in the jar game.

Anonymous said...

I like the poem and it brought back to memory this:
Anyone can count the seeds in an apple but only God can count the apples in seed.
So..it would go the same for acorns and trees.

Anonymous said...

Great poem. I love Muse Day because I always get to read new things. Thanks. I also chop up my leaves and use them as mulch and compost.~~Dee

Anonymous said...

Frost is another favorite of mine -- raking leaves is a happy part of autumn to me, and they do make wonderful mulch. How many on a tree? Now there's something to ponder!

Cindy said...

Gail ~ Smells and sounds really do trigger those memories, don't they?

Brenda Jean ~ That's something about your leaf situation. But some are better than none :)

PGL ~ Leaves make wonderful compost and mulch and I'm sure your beds love you for it!

Carolyn ~ I love muse day and I was happy to find a garden/yard appropriate poem this time. When I am looking, I am always finding good poems, but not necessarily garden related.

Dave ~ yes, just like that jellybean game. I was never very good at that though.

Anna ~ that's a great saying and so true!

Dee ~ It's great for me too, the selections are always so varied! You're a true gardener using up all those leaves!

Nancy ~ I love the crunch of the leaves while raking. And when you're done, you can see your accomplishment!

Eve said...

I like raking leaves too. We don't have a lot anymore since all our trees are gone with the wind.

We do have a mulberry tree that has nice large leaves for mulch.

joey said...

Leaves and Robert Frost ... as 'good as it gets'. I love both, Cindy. A lovely post!

Cindy said...

Eve ~ I'm sorry about your trees. At least you can get some leaves from your Mulberries.

Joey ~ Thank you, I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Machelle said...

Hey Cindy, thanks for visiting, Great idea about the plant tags. I started a database on my pc, but got too busy in the garden to follow through. Maybe I will finish this winter when its too cold to garden.