PB120008 The first week of November we took a family vacation away from the dropping temperatures here in NJ to visit the Mouse House down in Orlando. We had TONS of fun at Disney and, along with thousands of other tourists, enjoyed seeing Hogsmead at Universal for the first time. I did take the “Behind the Seeds” Tour in Epcot’s “The Land”. I took loads of pictures and was very excited to see some of what they were doing. You should have seen the tomato and eggplant trees! I’ll make a post about the tour.

I believe it was while we were gone that NJ had it’s first frost because upon my return I found a few things looking different in my garden. My entire property was COVERED in leaves. It looked a lot worse than what I show in the photo. Have I mentioned I need some large tree removal in my yard?

My basil, green peppers and eggplants gave their final efforts and perished in the cold. I also received a package of a few varieties of garlic (thank you Margie!) that are suited to my climate that I need to get into the ground before it gets much colder.

The top of my list of priorities had to be the leaves because on my quiet suburban block I must be getting glaring stares from all the neighbors who track the path of each falling leaf onto my yard. Literally every other house on the block, whether they have trees or not, seem to have tiny elves come out and snatching away each leaf just after it touches their grass. I know my neighbors are working hard at keeping their yards leaf-free, so before the wind can blow another leaf onto their lawns, I’d better start picking mine up too.

PB120009 I fired up my new-to-me wood chipper in the back yard and started pouring leaves into it, using the shredded product to begin a new, superior compost pile. No project is as easy as I think it’s going to be and using a wood chipper for leaves takes some technique. I clogged it up a lot at first and had to use a long stick to stir the leaves in the shoot and push them through (my mother would have been horrified for my safety if she was watching me while I was doing it). It works a lot better if you sprinkle the leaves in consistently than if you put big rake-fulls in a a time.

I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m getting there and at least the folks around me can see that I’m putting for the old college try. Just wait till spring when I’m prettying up the neighborhood with flowers and veggies in my front yard! I’ve still got a LOT of digging to do and I’m deciding on where my paths will go.


  1. I hear you loud and clear about the leaves!! Ours are falling down in full force now too, after giving a gorgeous display of color. L helped by shaking what branches she could and making it rain leaves.

    Have the kids gotten to jump in any leaf piles yet, or is your neighborhood too clean to *have* a leave pile? 😉

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