The Leaf Thief Gets an Accomplice

IMG_6170Rather like Bonnie and Clyde, the Leaf Thief has got himself a female accomplice, similarly sneaky and apparently known by the name Abigail. Although they have been striking mostly further north in the UK there has been much petty pilfering going on here – who would have thought our medium-ish magnolia had so many leaves? This may be the last year they have the chance to strike the magnolia though, as thoughtful gazing from the kitchen windows has led me to consider that it may have outgrown its welcome and thus may be replaced with something smaller but equally pretty (or even more so) and with decidedly fewer leaves…

The paved area shown above is clearly more sheltered than some parts of the garden, as leaves here have tended to stay where the thieves have struck. This is not the case around the main herbaceous beds where the different levels and beds have proved ideal places to stash the stolen dosh for brief periods before the culprits return and disturb the crime scene again – but they have been temporarily thwarted them by a big sweep up this afternoon.

IMG_6173If you thought that the bed towards the centre of the picture above looked unusually empty of plants you would be partially right as I have tackled the two smaller beds here this week, taking out all the plants and splitting them as appropriate, before spreading a thick layer of homemade compost on the beds and replacing the plants. Hundreds (well, a lot…) of plant-less labels have been liberated in the process! The under-performing Souvenir de Malmaison rose in the Gallery border has been replaced with a climbing Gertude Jekyll who will not find it a hard act to follow, but apart from this the content of the beds has not changed but merely been rearranged a little.

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The other two beds here will be tackled in due course, but being larger will be a harder task and like the two already done will require care so as not to disturb any resident bulbs. It will be a job well done though and I am pleased that used home grown compost to condition the beds rather than buy in some sort of ‘soil conditioner’ which is what I originally considered. Hopefully existing plants will benefit both from their slimmer selves and their new rich diet whereas any new additions (seed sown of course, or gifted – remember, no bought plants next year!) will romp away happily. However, the weather will largely determine what jobs can be tackled this weekend as we are due a wet day tomorrow – although a dry hour or two would enable the nearly complete and refurbished rose arbour to be painted…

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7 Responses to The Leaf Thief Gets an Accomplice

  1. croftgarden says:

    I think your leaf thief (thieves) is either lazy, profligate or very picky. Abigail might have been a wimp but she absconded with some of my top soil and mulch. I’m not best pleased!

  2. 2015 has certainly been the year of great windyness!!! I live close to the Hampshire coast now and I suppose should have expected gales, but my ‘leaf thief’ got a bit above itself and made off with two small green houses( plastic covered things) as well, bowling them up the garden path before abandoning them, I will have to think again on that one! Toughened glass set in concrete maybe?

    • Cathy says:

      Oh – what a shame! Are they fixable? I tried one of those at the school I worked at a few years ago and the same thing happened 😦 Our local paper periodically has adverts for glass ones for next to nothing or sometimes free, and our second one we bought from eBay very cheaply.

  3. I hope your stone birds will be safe with Abigail around 🙂

  4. Cathy do you make leafmold with the fallen leaves? as I do not have enough trees for leafmold, it is my first thought when seeing fallen leaves on blogs, I did manage a layer of birch leaves on the compost this year, a first, I see from this post you are as busy as ever and planning, has the no bought plants been all this year? if so well done, Frances

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