Friday, October 30, 2009

Leaf Composting On a Balcony

Ten feet up in the air is not the recommended location for composting leaves,

but nature obviously doesn't read books on how to garden.

Ten years worth of leaves have accumulated here, on this balcony of the county-owned Veblen House, and all the organisms that make a living by turning leaves into rich fertilizer took notice and set up shop.

For compost connoisseurs, it doesn't get any better than this. The "black gold" was produced with 100% leaves and zero human effort.

Notice the earthworm, whose capacity to reach the balcony was the subject of some speculation. They are not known for their leaping ability, and have never been seen wiggling up the sides of houses. One theory offered is that an earthworm laid eggs on a leaf, which then blew up to the balcony. Maybe the daredevils among them hitchhike on the legs of birds.

Virginia creeper knows how to climb a house, and quickly turned some of this rich leaf mold into root-filled sod.

Fortunately, the decomposers took more interest in the leaves than the balcony, so that it's still possible to enjoy a fine view of the garden, newly sprinkled with compost from ten feet up.

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