Tawny grasses roiled and heaved like flaxen waves on the sea.  Killing frosts followed, gnarling and twisting tender stems and wilting Summer foliage.  Trees continued to drop their brilliant leaves as October too was swept away in November’s wicked winds.


As you know, waning daylight and cooler temperatures are the catalysts in which leaves begin to change color.  In addition to vivid displays, trees drop their leaves in an effort to conserve energy and nutrition for the Winter ahead.


Leaf drop also means raking, but is there something more useful and noble we could be doing with all these leaves than simply raking, bagging and dumping?  Heaven knows this requires a good deal of effort and even greater amount of patience.  You could always burn them, if your municipality allows, but this seems terribly wasteful as well.  I’m not suggesting you simply let the leaves lie.  This could be detrimental to your lawn, but there are some pragmatic approaches worth trying.


Composting leaves is always an excellent option.  Granted, you’ll still have to rake them, but you’ll be able to recycle, and your soil will benefit from all the organic matter.  Don’t have a compost bin?  No need to despair.  Leaves can be stored in garbage bags that have small holes punctured throughout, or some municipalities offer recycling centers where leaves are composted on site and used throughout the community.


Mulching is yet another valuable option.  Leaves can be shredded and added to beds where they act as insulators while suppressing weeds and naturally fertilizing the soil as they begin to break down.


Whatever you decide, the majority of leaves will need to be raked and removed, but you might consider composting or mulching as viable options.  In the meantime, if you haven’t done so already, contact Sweeney’s today to schedule your Fall Clean Up.  Schedules are filling up fast, and leaves are falling faster!

Plant of the Week

Blue Angel Holly

Compact shrub produces bird-friendly, crimson berries amongst crinkled, glossy greenish-blue foliage in Summer that deepens to a rich, bluish-purple in Winter.  Prefers sun to partial shade and dry soil.  Grows 4-6′ tall and 4-6′ wide.  Deer resistant.

“That soft autumnal time…

The woodland foliage now

Is gathered by the wild November blast.”

-John Howard Bryant

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney