So, it seems I’m that neighbor. You know, the eccentric one…. (Shocker, right?)
For the past ten or so years, every fall, I’ve been out gathering up the leaves, running them through a leaf vacuum/shredder, and using them to mulch the garden, fill the compost bins, and mulch various flower beds.
Initially I just gathered up all the leaves that inevitably blew into the driveway – the winds work out just right for deep drifts of leaves to pile up against the gate into the backyard. And since they’re gonna end up in the driveway, I’d proactively gather them up from the street in front of the house. This has worked out quite well, and over the past seven or eight years, in order to make sure there would be enough, I’ve also gathered up some of the bags of leaves neighbors have put out for curbside pickup.
It’s worked quite well. I’ve been growing cannas in a flowerbed built around the lamppost and this year, some of those stalks got to be around eight feet high.
The neighbors have noticed my leaf gathering. Two weeks ago, the neighbor two doors down texted my wife to let her know that if I was interested, they had seven bags of leaves at the end of their driveway and could they possibly have the bags back afterward? (Seems fair to me.)
This past weekend, the same neighbors asked me if wet leaves were OK and I said I would happily take just about anything except black walnut which they don’t have anyhow. (Black walnut leaves contain a chemical which hinders the growth of other plants.) On Sunday evening, four bags of leaves mysteriously appeared at the end of our driveway. On Monday evening, I filched two more the neighbor in between had put out for pickup and during the day Tuesday, another one just “appeared” as if by magic.
That’s a total of seven bags.
A short while ago, I came in from walking the dogs. I’ve only moved two bags of leaves this week, but to my surprise, there are now eleven bags at the end of the driveway.
That’s a whole lot of leaves!