Every year more and more Americans live and work indoors. Every year more and more Americans know more nothing about their outdoors where they live.
I was lucky being born 82 years ago. I was raised in the city, in a house on a ninety by forty-five foot lot taught to know the outdoors, both at home and at school. It was in first grade before World War II when I was first forced to collect tree leaves so I could identify these living outdoor things, both the small and the massive. Everyone in the neighborhood had gardens for both flower and food. No one sweated guilt about growing things organic or inorganic. It was in the garden where ones grass clippings went. There were no noises coming from the gardened grounds in those days. Things were done by thought, hand, and back, not motors.
For the past forty two years I have lived in suburbia. Lawns are in, and with some messy exceptions, they are well taken care of. The same Annabelle Hydrangeas planted sixty years ago when this community was built are still growing seven or eight in a row as a hedge between lots. Most of the originally planted Blue Colorado Spruce, all sixty feet plus of them, are sickly…. 75% of their foliage dead, but no one looks skyward. Green Ash cultivars and Silver Maples were popular and cheap then…..$5 a tree , so became choice for shade and are still alive. Many are a mess in their old age…..tree trimming isn’t free.
City folk aren’t very religious anymore about the spiritual. But many are told to believe in the spirit of things Organic, as if Organic is the new god for modern American better being.
Knowing by lack of practice, nothing about outdoor plant life, they are fully willing to pay higher prices for edibles called “Organic”, for government and its university city folk feel it more godly if they program their public to believe an ‘organic’ banana is better by taste and moral goodness of chemistry than a banana without the benefits of ‘organic’ title. The poor banana, whether organic or not, is the same banana when eaten whether the consumer pays more for it or not.
However, ‘organic’ does mean something in the garden. Whether a blade of grass, a petunia petal, and oak tree or a dog, you or me we pass through our paths of decay from life to abet other life . Things “organic” were once living things bearing ‘organs’ of sorts which made things, units, living. Life matter is God’s gift of recycling, the give and take of once living matter from the dead to the living.
EVERY THINKING GARDENER EVENTUALLY COMES TO DISCOVER THE FULL MEANING OF ‘LIFE ETERNAL’. THERE IS NO LIFE WITHOUT DECAY!
For years and years since the 1970s, a foot or so of top soil was removed from probably the majority of lots where homes and business buildings were built in suburbia. House building was financially a risky business. Since lawn was the human habit of vegetative ‘life’ where living, suburban or city, top soil depth wasn’t needed to help it’s green color remain green during the growing season. Lawn needs a pinch of soil, nitrogen and watering. The subsoil, rock, stone outcrop, clay, gray, tan clay with stone, stone pressed with gray, tan clay remained so dense underneath this ‘pinch’, most rainwater ran off looking for the nearest sewers.
Autumn leaves nearly everywhere in suburbia, even where there is plenty of space on the homeowners’ property for recycling this magnificent organic stuff necessary for the betterment of living matter, are bagged up and hauled off. Ninety per cent of living leaf matter is water. Decay needs water for decay….for a pile of decaying leaf matter or any other matter once living, is loaded with elements required for things living. Without decay, remember, there is no life as we know life.
Autumn leaves with moisture regularly provided is one of the better ‘mulches’ used to keep weed seeds from sprouting all garden season long. A mulch better for soil improvement can be made by chopping up leaves and small branchlets to hasten plant decay and quicker release of nutrients available for plant life…..Remember also, that any mulch factory creating decay needs ‘fuel’, to energize its power to decay and release its own elements for living plant use as well.
Simply add a touch of Nitrogen to your outdoor perennial world once in awhile along with weekly watering, your plant world, especially your shrubs and smaller sized trees will respond beautifully.
If your lawn is ‘everything’ on the grounds where you live, couldn’t you take a first step to contour a ridge somewhere where a handful of shrubs, especially evergreens, can grow….where you can recycle your own autumn leaf ‘waste’ from whose ever trees covering your lawn. If you have the spiritual urge to do so, but not the experience or time, give us at Masterpiece Landscaping a call at 952-933-5777 a call.