You have heard of the term “love-hate relationship” I trust. Some of us have such associations in several aspects of our lives. I have a love-hate relationship with leaves.
I love them in the spring when they first unfurl from the buds on the woody stems of trees and shrubs. I am filled with joy to see leaves emerging out of the cold soil in March where bulbs were planted the previous autumn. I become giddy when perennial foliage bursts out of the ground every spring.
Summer will find me relaxing under the cool canopy of a shade tree in my garden, protected from the afternoon sun by all of those thousands of leaves. When the leaves turn to burgundy, burnt orange, crimson red and golden yellow in autumn you’ll find me with my camera capturing the unforgettable images.
I love those leaves, while they are still on the trees. When the leaves fall off the trees, however, my sentiments take a turn. My Dr. Jekyll side emerges. I’m ordinarily an easy-going individual, but leaves in the garden, I’m admitting right now, drive me crazy.
Every autumn I tell myself that I must act like a normal person and wait until all of the leaves have fallen from all of the trees in my garden. How much time and energy do I realistically have to rake leaves several times each fall? Every autumn I struggle mightily when I venture out into the garden, grappling with the temptation to grab the rake and start piling all of those leaves.
I have three nearly-mature shade trees in my garden; an ‘Autumn Blaze’ maple, an ‘Autumn Applause’ American Ash and a ‘Crimson Sentry’ Norway maple. The ash is the first to drop; the Norway maple is the last. I am astonished by the volume of leaves that I must gather, a volume that, of course, gets larger each year.
Given that my garden faces due south, with no protection from winds such as those which howled incessantly for nearly three days this week, it’s not surprising that the leaves are able to embed themselves into every conceivable nook and cranny.
I’m convinced that in the garden of someone whose attitude was much more relaxed these leaves would rush from one end of the property to the other during high winds and keep going, finally coming to rest in, say, Peachland. No such luck. They rush by the house all right, before coming to rest in front of the garage door, usually entwined amongst the netting of my son’s hockey net, mixed with stems of Baby’s Breath.
To date I have filled two pickup truck boxes with leaves, and I’m still not done. There will be more. They multiply when I’m not looking, piling ever higher in spite of my efforts. When I think I’ve got the last one, they’ll blow in from someone else’s garden.
In five months I’ll welcome the arrival of new leaves, and four months after that those same leaves will be my cooling salvation. Next October I’ll be searching out leaves with spectacular fall colour. But right now, it’s combat, me against the leaves and the leaves are winning.

You have heard of the term “love-hate relationship” I trust. Some of us have such associations in several aspects of our lives. I have a love-hate relationship with leaves.
I love them in the spring when they first unfurl from the buds on the woody stems of trees and shrubs. I am filled with joy to see leaves emerging out of the cold soil in March where bulbs were planted the previous autumn. I become giddy when perennial foliage bursts out of the ground every spring.
Summer will find me relaxing under the cool canopy of a shade tree in my garden, protected from the afternoon sun by all of those thousands of leaves. When the leaves turn to burgundy, burnt orange, crimson red and golden yellow in autumn you’ll find me with my camera capturing the unforgettable images.
I love those leaves, while they are still on the trees. When the leaves fall off the trees, however, my sentiments take a turn. My Dr. Jekyll side emerges. I’m ordinarily an easy-going individual, but leaves in the garden, I’m admitting right now, drive me crazy.
Every autumn I tell myself that I must act like a normal person and wait until all of the leaves have fallen from all of the trees in my garden. How much time and energy do I realistically have to rake leaves several times each fall? Every autumn I struggle mightily when I venture out into the garden, grappling with the temptation to grab the rake and start piling all of those leaves.
I have three nearly-mature shade trees in my garden; an ‘Autumn Blaze’ maple, an ‘Autumn Applause’ American Ash and a ‘Crimson Sentry’ Norway maple. The ash is the first to drop; the Norway maple is the last. I am astonished by the volume of leaves that I must gather, a volume that, of course, gets larger each year.
Given that my garden faces due south, with no protection from winds such as those which howled incessantly for nearly three days this week, it’s not surprising that the leaves are able to embed themselves into every conceivable nook and cranny.
I’m convinced that in the garden of someone whose attitude was much more relaxed these leaves would rush from one end of the property to the other during high winds and keep going, finally coming to rest in, say, Peachland. No such luck. They rush by the house all right, before coming to rest in front of the garage door, usually entwined amongst the netting of my son’s hockey net, mixed with stems of Baby’s Breath.
To date I have filled two pickup truck boxes with leaves, and I’m still not done. There will be more. They multiply when I’m not looking, piling ever higher in spite of my efforts. When I think I’ve got the last one, they’ll blow in from someone else’s garden.
In five months I’ll welcome the arrival of new leaves, and four months after that those same leaves will be my cooling salvation. Next October I’ll be searching out leaves with spectacular fall colour. But right now, it’s combat, me against the leaves and the leaves are winning.

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