IN ANOTHER LIFE, I might be having lunch at Balthazar. In this life, I am sculpting with leaves.
Using a hose or rope to lay out the curve of a path hasn’t worked for me. They just didn’t stay put, or make the kind of curve I wanted. I tried neon paint, below; that was a disaster. The line I managed to draw bore no relationship to the sweeping, natural curve I had in mind.
So I’ve been working a kind of negative space thing, building up future planting beds on either side of a projected flagstone path — which will run from my future parking court to the front door, then onward to the back, a distance of about sixty feet — with piles of scavenged oak leaves, leaving bare what will be the path. (The leaves, I hope, will be the basis for soil by next spring. I know I’ll have to add loads of amendments.)
Not having many leaves left on my own property, I’ve been dragging a tarp and stealing from my neighbors’ roadside piles, left out for the town to pick up (luckily, not for another 10 days). I dump them roughly where I want them, then fine-tune the line with a rake, contemplatively, like a Zen monk.
Amazingly, the leaves stay more or less where I put them, through wind and rain.
Today I brought in from outside a few tender garden plants I think might survive the winter in a corner of my unheated porch, above. I have an old storm window and plastic sheeting at the ready if the temperature really drops.