Saturday, November 03, 2007

Piece of cake

Most of my leaves have fallen. There was a cold front that moved through with some fierce winds a few days ago that sent Mother Nature's tattered leaves swirling down. Today was sunny and warm; a good day to attach the mulcher to the mower and hit the back yard. Here's before -

And after.

I love those crispy leaves, but they can't stay - at least not in their present state.

Shredded by the mulcher, they'll decompose slowly into my grass.

This tree is my top shedder. Lots of leaves...

Gone. Shredded. While some of my neighbors raked and used their blowers and piled up the black leaf bags on the curb, this took me the same amount of time that I normally spend mowing the grass, and I get to reap the bounty of mulched leaves enriching my lawn. I was back in the house watching reruns of Project Runway in no time.

This look will never hit Project Runway, but as promised, here is the ghost of Mary Queen of Scots. Fortunately, she and her head were reunited after death. Note my nametag which I wear everyday at work. It normally says Mary so I just had to add Queen of Scots and no one asked me who I was supposed to be. Handy.

Looking rather serious, but you would be too if you were a ghost. Though you can see she was reunited not only with her head but with her little dog who was in the folds of her skirt as she was beheaded. There was a bit of splashback on her poor Skye Terrier (err, 20-year-old Pound Puppy I found in the basement).

Here's what I got for my trouble. It is a lot of bother being beheaded.


Naturegirl said...

GREAT costume great Halloween spirit!!
That mulcher is a handy dandy garden tool..perhaps Santa might bring natureboy one!!Thank you for the suggestion and sharing the results with us!!
Next week I am having a GIVEAWAY so I hope to see you! hugs NG

Carol said...

Mary Queen of Scots... I love the before and after pictures of your lawn. Good job! So pretty. But then to go in and watch 'Project Runway'? What is that all about? I think I have only barely heard of that show. Well... anyway your lawn looks great, your costume is imaginative, and i would guess you have more than one 'best costume' trophy on your fireplace mantel (or lined up across the top of the TV).

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You are the Queen of costumes. That is a great look going for you. Your garden looks great too all neat and tidy. I'm still waiting for the leaves to fall.

Bob said...

It looks like you work at a fun place. It's great to see all the costumes and how much you get in to it. You are obviously a kid at heart :) I'm am too! I always tell people I'm very immature for my age.

What kind of tree is in the photo?

LostRoses said...

Hi Naturegirl, thanks! I was glad to take that costume off finally, especially the wig. But it was fun. As for the mulcher, most of my lawnmowers over the years have been "hand-me-downs", so when I finally bought a new one I made sure it came with the mulcher attachment. I'm loving it!

Carol, as another gardener with a large "misunderstood" grassy area, I thought you would appreciate the fall cleanup.

Project Runway? A bunch of talented and oddball types all vying to become a big name clothing designer. They snipe, bicker, and carry on in true reality show fashion and end up creating stuff we would never wear. I never remember what night it's on so I do re-runs!

Oh, that's my first trophy ever!

Lisa, thanks! My leaves were hanging on tenaciously until the wind came up and that did them in. You have all this to look forward to!

Bob, there's something to be said for immaturity in some things, don't you think? Gotta have some fun! Both trees in the before and afters are Silver Maples. One has a lot more "character" (and leaves)than the other!

Andrea's Garden said...

Great costume, Queen Mary! Loved it. /andrea

EAL said...

Congrats. I got away with a quick widow look. But I'm inelegible for our contest anyway,cause I'm one of the judges.

That is way better than anyone at my office did.

I watched Runway for a season, but we were upset with the results, so we've switched to Top Chef.

Zoey said...

Congratulations on winning best costume! That 's a pretty nice trophy.

I bet you were glad to get all that make up off. I know the one year I had a green witch face it was pretty itchy by 4:00 p.m. Where did you get the dress? Did you make it?

Pretty clever way to dispose of all those leaves!

Mary said...

Congratulations, Mary Queen of Scots! You deserved best costume.

Those mulching blades are great. Especially good during the hot summer months to protect the grass roots, too. But best for the leaves. They are put to good use!

I wish my office was big into costumes and Halloween. I was the only one who brought in candy :o(

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Cool costume--and very well-deserved award!

I had never heard the story of the dog in the folds of her skirt before--is that true, or did you just make that part up so you could carry the pound puppy around?

The Pumpkin Faerie said...

Well I'll be darned. I have that very same pound puppy *L*. Fantastic costume!

chuck b. said...

It's way past time for me to have Project Runway in my life. I'm going to queue that up.

That's an awesome costume.

Beneath the pallor and blood, you're quite the beauty aren't you, Lost Roses?

Pam/Digging said...

Yea for mulching mowers! I don't understand why anyone would blow and bag when they could just mow and mulch their lawn into lushness come next spring.

And GREAT costume, by the way. You totally deserved that trophy.

Connie said...

That mulcher sounds dandy...but did you save any leaves for compost? :-)

jodi said...

Oh, great post about leaves! Why on earth do people buy those idiotic and noisy leaf blowers? A waste of time and money--and leaves. I never have enough.
Dandy costume, yer Majesty! Hope you don't have lasting effects from losing your head...:-) What great fun you are!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

That was rather careless of Mary wasn't it, to lose her head? ;-) Great costume no wonder you won the prize for best costume. Congrats! And I love the little doggy too, nice touch that. It's all in the details, isn't it?

Nifty gadget that mulching mower. I've never understood why people want to blow away their leaves with those awfully noisy leaf blowers. I collect my leaves in garbage bags, add a bit of water and a couple of months later I have lovely black gold aka leaf mould.

LostRoses said...

Andrea, thanks! I was happy to take it off finally, once the trick-or-treaters all went home.

Elizabeth, cool! How did you do your widow costume? We are very democratic at the library and everyone got to vote! Oh, Top Chef is another good one, but it always makes me wish I wasn't eating cereal for dinner.

Zoey, me, make the dress? Ha ha, you know better. Try WalMart. I got the wig on the Internet and added my own costume jewelry. At the last minute I couldn't find any white makeup so that's white powder eyeshadow all over my face. Yeah, I'm proud of my trophy! And even happier with the leaf situation.

Mary, I think you should resurrect Halloween costumes at your office. They shouldn't be able to eat all your candy without earning it! Besides, I bet they want to see "Mimi" again.
I used the mulcher the last part of the summer but next year I'm going to try it starting in the spring and see what it does for my lawn.

Blackswampgirl, it's a true story. Odd, isn't it? But I suppose people back then were nuts about their little lap dogs too. Some small comfort for a beheading!

Pumpkin Faerie, we have twins! Mine hadn't seen the light of day since the kids were little, and let's see, they're now 28 and 32!

Chuck B, I bet you're gonna love Project Runway. Her Majesty thanks you for your compliments, and wants you to know you can visit her blog anytime!

Pam, I guess the blowers have their uses (blowing spiderwebs and birdseed off my patio) but for the leaves I'm swearing by the mulching mower method. Glad you enjoyed the costume!

Connie, I used to compost back in the day and admire gardeners who do, but nowadays I mainly save my energy!

Jodi, a guy here fell off his roof while using his blower getting the leaves off. I thought that was what wind is for! Her Majesty has recovered from her unfortunate incident and is already thinking about next year's costume!

Yolanda, I read your post about putting the leaves in the garbage bags and letting them compost. I like that idea and think it's very clever! I may try that with some of the leaves still to fall and see how it does in my non-humid climate.
Mary is back to normal though it was great fun while it lasted. And the doggie has returned to the basement, looking a little the worse for wear!

Giddy said...

Great costumes. You obviously have a very fertile mind to be able to think up all those great themes.
Regarding the leaf situation - one of the nice things about living in the woods is not having to rake leaves. Like you, for my little bit of grass, I just mow over the leaves. Also cannot believe you beat Maine to the first snowfall. Are you at a high altitude?

Britt-Arnhild said...

Seems like you are getting ready for winter.
Snow is coming here.....

Zoey said...

My goodness, LR, you must have had to crush a LOT of white eye shadow to get enough to cover your whole face! You are indeed a very creative woman!

LostRoses said...

Giddy, thanks! Yes, the advantages of living in the woods would be great in the fall! We're at 5,280 ft. and occasionally get the first snow in September, but it held off this year until October, and none since.

Britt-Arnhild, from now through April it will "chance of snow" every week. But lots of times they're wrong. Hope you enjoy yours!

Zoey, it was in a little flat container with a foam brush and it actually went on pretty creamy. A bit patchy, but I smoothed it out, sorta.

Bev said...

Good work with the mulcher. We take the black bags from the neighbors and mulch the leaves to use on the perennial beds. What I hate to see is when people push them all into the gutter. WOW... another Project Runway lover! Can't you just hardly wait till it starts again? I think next week or so? I'm in the process of getting a new HD tv and can hardly wait.

rusty in miami said...

Must be a fun place work, did you get first place? Where I work we all dressed as stress out employees.

KGMom said...

I've always been a fan of British history and have read several biographies of Mary, Queen of Scots (and her altercation with cousin Elizabeth that led to her beheading). I do remember that the little dog ran out from under her skirts after she was beheaded.

LostRoses said...

Bev, I've heard it's illegal for people to push their leaves in the gutter, but I've seen it here and there around town. Good job taking your neighbor's leaves and using them on your beds! Oh, I'm very jealous that you're getting HD tv. That will make Project Runway even more fun! I think it starts next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Very funny, Rusty, that's our usual attire - stressed out employees!

KGMom, yes, I've always heard it was true, also. And that when the executioner held up Mary's severed head, he found himself holding only a wig and her head rolled away. That's fairly gruesome. Gee, I think I'll do something light-hearted next year!

kris said...

Hi - first I want to thank you for leaving a comment on my blog recently. I just took a stroll thru yours - totally fun! I love all of your Halloween costumes - I'm bookmarking this for the next time I have to come up with one! :) Good job on the leaves - I'm still into using them as mulch and compost for the gardens - what a lot of work!!!! The photos of your yard and gardens are beautiful. So nice to meet you - I'll be back!!

LostRoses said...

Hi Kris, I'm drooling over all your estate sale finds. I've tried to wean myself away from them, so many goodies - so little room left for them! And I can't resist buying beautiful things for a pittance. You've done well!
Glad you liked all the costumes, and thanks for your nice comments!

KC MO Garden Guy said...

Congrats on winning the trophy!!! You look marvolious for haveing lost you head many years ago!!!

I too love to shred my leaves. I put them in the flower bed for the winter and on the compost pile. They are the best thing since sliced bread!!

Verena said...

You have quite old and huge trees, so it´s clear that you have many leaves too. I only have two little trees, so I don´t have so much work with them.
I like all your different Halloween dresses all over the years and I´m looking forward to the next year :-)!
Nice greetings, Verena

LostRoses said...

Cliff, thanks! And even though my leaves are down, the wind's been blowing lots more into my yard. Looks like I'll have a bit more winter cover for my flowerbeds.

Verena, that's funny about the small trees. The wind blew one night and blew every leaf off my small amur maple. That was a very quick leaf drop! Thanks for your comments on the Halloween costumes. I have an idea for next year so that's a start!

Annie in Austin said...

Sorry I'm late with my congratulations, LostRoses - you look fabulous while giving us a refresher course in British history.

What would have happened if one of your co-workers had chosen to be Queen Elizabeth I? A little interaction between you might have been even more educational ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

LostRoses said...

Annie, thanks! There was always the possibility that the despised cousin could have shown up. My costume was readily available and it was called "Elizabethan Queen". I just happened to choose Mary instead of Elizabeth. As it was, none of my coworkers dressed anywhere near my era, and Mary had to content herself with marveling at a reggae musician, Snow White, the complete cast of characters from Scooby-Doo, The White Rabbit, and assorted witches and ghouls.

MrBrownThumb said...

How cool was that costume?

I haven't dressed up for Halloween in a while but the last time I did myself and some friends won a 25 dollar gift certificate but I'd rather have a cool trophy like yours.


LostRoses said...

mrbrownthumb, I bet those were some good costumes, who or what did you dress up as? Yeah, I'm proud of that trophy!

kate said...


I don't know how I missed this post. I'm glad I got to see your Mary, Queen of Scots costume. The dog and the reattached head were great.

I don't have any lawn but I think it's great how you've mulched the leaves. I wish more people did that than throw their leaves into the garbage ... in plastic bags.

LostRoses said...

Kate, you sound like me, trying to keep up with posts, and I always miss one or two! Glad you found this one and thanks for your compliments. I think the leaf mulching is really an easy thing to do, too.

Anonymous said...