Monthly Archives: November 2012

What’s up with the piles of leaves in the street?

Every Fall when the piles of leaves appear on the streets I wonder why people are throwing away that good mulch and compost? My neighbor’s pile is about 20 feet long, three feet high, and five feet wide.


In the Spring these people spend hundreds of dollars on bags of mulch and compost.

Here on the East side of Raleigh there are about 2 to 4 inches of sandy topsoil over the red clay base. Mulching with the oak, maple, and sweet gum leaves, as well as pine straw, improves the moisture retention and drainage of the soil, decreases weeds, and as it decomposes, releases nutrients into the soil.

You can easily create a compost pile in the rear of your back yard by just piling the leaves and turning them a few times during the Summer. Or purchase a simple plastic compost bin for about $50 then you can also add your kitchen scraps from the fruit and vegetables you eat.  Statistics state we throw away 27% of the food we buy!


After only one season it decomposes into a nice mulch.


And, of course, Gus loves to sit in the sun when we are out in the garden during cold but sunny days!



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Filed under Seasonal Maintenance

Frost and popovers.

I was up early, as usual, so I took a drive to Cup A Joe for a latte and the paper. I had forgotten The Raleigh Christmas Parade is today so there was a detour around Hillsborough Street and through an old Raleigh neighborhood. I then realized there was a light frost on the some roofs. Note to self: house plants must be cleaned and brought inside today!

So much color in the yard. Trees are golden or red. Perennials are colorful, as well. Some are yellow. Many are brown.  Many are decorated with beautiful seed heads.

Some plants are still blooming:

Cosmos                                                             Rubeckia



Autumn Clematis                                      Some kind of salvia/sage. I think it is                                                                             Salvia puberula ‘El Butano’


Yellow leaves of a Kwazan Cherry


All this seems like a good reason to make simple popovers!

I was cruising all the clearance end caps at Target one day and found a popover pan for $6.00. The recipe was simple.

1.5 tablespoons of melted butter
1.5 cups of flour
3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
3 large eggs
1.5 cups of milk

Allow ingredients to warm to room temperature. Mix ingredients and pour into buttered pop over pan that has been preheated in the oven for a few minutes. Only fill the pans half-full. Cook for 30 minutes. The pop overs will pop out of the pan as they rise. They are very light and fluffy.




Welcome to Fall!


Filed under Food

Fall favorite things!



Brightly colored trees!


Falling leaves.

These large leaves are Paulowina tree leaves, also known as Empress Tree because of the purple trumpet flowers in the spring and very fast growth with large leaves. I cut them to the ground about every other year to keep them under control and they will shoot back up to 20 feet in one season.





Everyone piling into one bed to keep warm!


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