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No, I’m not talking about the harvest. For most of us autumn means an abundance of falling leaves. Leaves you rake, leaves you use the blower on, and then there are these. These you simply pick up by their stems, almost like you’re collecting a wildflower bouquet.
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I have to laugh when I hear the advice to leave your leaves in place (in planting beds, not lawns!) over the winter – because they’ll break down and feed the soil. Not going to happen with these, the monster leaves of our Magnolia macrophylla, at least not in a single season. They do make great mulch for some tender plants that die back, for example I’ve piled them on the top of the Gunnera and tucked them around the Melianthus. They also add a decorative touch to the top of a Yucca Rostrata
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Our friends at Xera Plants recently wrote a blog post praising the art of the garden mess. Being overly tidy can actually do your garden harm, read that here. One word of caution I’ll add though, if you’re like me and you’re growing desert plants in a rainy climate never, ever, let leaves gather around them. That’s the sure kiss of death as rot will quickly take over and your beloved Agaves and Opuntia will turn to a pile of stinky goo.

Well, I’ve got to go pick up some leaves…

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