Since we’re renting, we don’t want to spend buckets on lovely, fresh mulch for someone else’s yard every time we move. But my husband loves the nice, neat look of it. So we improvise…
In Norfolk, we ran the lawn mower over the billions of leaves that fell from the trees. (Learned that lesson. Won’t be renting in a yard of lush trees for a while. While my husband happily sails out to sea, guess who has to rake? And rake. And rake some more.)
We lumped them into the mulch beds and islands around the house, and when damp, they looked just like mulch. When dry, they looked like leaves. But they were so uniform and neatly done, it worked. Our neighbor said she wouldn’t have known they were leaves unless I told her. The neighbor beside us, however, blew them all out with his leaf blower to do us a favor no doubt since he thought we obviously hadn’t raked! I spent HOURS out there raking. I could have pulled out my hair. He did it twice.
Not so sure the property manager ‘got it’ either. He mentioned a few times he needed to have someone come out and “clean up all those leaves.” To which I replied, “That’s homemade mulch.” Within the year, it composted down, the leaves weren’t wasted, and neither us or the owners were out any money for multiple bags of expensive mulch. I also didn’t have to use the dreaded plastic bags to put out for the city. Now that’s zero waste if I’ve ever heard it! Oh, yeah!
Here in south Georgia, we’ve been blessed with a fine carpet of pine needles. And again the landlord says, “If you run over them with the mower…” To which I jump in and say, “Oh, no! We’ll rake them and place them in the islands around the trees. You know– uniform mulch.” He just nods. No telling what he’s thinking!
But I think it worked. Hey, I say—be creative and use what you have. Why buy more when nature provides it? It’s all about thinking outside of the box, right? And I don’t mind if people think we’re weird. Different. Eccentric–I like that one best.
It would be a little easier if we owned our own home, and people could say, “You know that nutty couple on the corner over there…” but so far, the landlords have been accommodating. And people probably say that anyway. 🙂
Have you ever tried this? Do you have a trick to keep you from tracking over to the hardware store?