Saturday, November 17, 2007


What a beautiful day! I had to travel to Indy this morning to pick up some trees for a job, but got back home just after lunch. There is still so much to do outside that I didn't know where to start.
I decided to start on a shrub bed at the front of the property. I like to start my fall cleanup near the house, and work my way towards the back gardens, so that if I don't get all of the beds done, I won't have to look at the unfinished ones all winter.
Then I decided that I better get in all of the bird baths, and other paraphernalia that I scatter around the beds in the Spring. It never seems like much when you put it out, but when your putting that stuff away, it takes forever!
Tomorrow is supposed to be pretty nice also, so I hope to finish up the beds near the house, get my garlic planted, get all of the annual pots put away, and maybe my patio furniture put up. I don't like working on Sunday, but I hope that God will forgive me, seeing how we have a chance of snow on Thanksgiving day, and I am running out of time.
I still have a few trees in my lawn that are holding on to their leaves, so I hope we still have some good weather after Thanksgiving, to clean up those leaves when they fall.
The picture above is the Sweet Gum tree in our back yard. It was the first tree we planted when we moved here 17 years ago, and probably not the best choice for this location. I do love the tree, and it had pretty good fall color, but if you have ever had a Sweet Gum, you know about the "porcupine balls". These spiny little balls are about the size of a cherry tomato, but that is where the similarity ends. These little guys are hard and prickly so you wouldn't want to step on one with your bare feet. As the tree gets larger, there are many more of them. I have seen the ground under some trees completely covered by them. My tree has never been much of a problem, but it is starting to get pretty large, so I don't know how bad they will be in the future. We usually just vacuum them up with the mower, but I expect that some day, after there are more of them to deal with, we will have to come up with another plan. A leaf blower also works pretty well, but I am sure as there are more and more of them, that will probably not work either. Some people use the little balls for craft projects, but I am not very crafty, so they will end up in the compost pile.


Carol said...

The sweet gum is a stunning fall tree, but those seed balls! If only they didn't have those seed balls.

Anyway, I plan more fall clean up today (Sunday), too. It isn't work if we enjoy it, is it? Why would God give us a beautiful fall day, if not to enjoy it in our gardens? I'll be trimming and mowing the lawn, perhaps for the last time this season, and planting more bulbs and cutting back peonies and hostas. Most of the other clean up is done.

Time does run short at least for this gardening season... I also need to buy a new snow blower this week!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think sweet gum trees have some of the prettiest colors during fall but I wouldn't want to have to deal with the gumballs.

Did you prune this tree or does it naturally grow in this form?

I ususally leave things alone because they look deformed when I get through pruning them.