Gardening Quandaries

I trimmed our three peony bushes back and mulched around the stubs with the leaves Jonathan shredded last week. Gardeners, tell me: was that the right thing to do? I was just operating on intuition. If I were a peony going into hibernation for the winter, that's the treatment I would want.

The black walnut trees are peppering our yard with their fruit. Should we be pleased with such seasoning in our autumn landscape? I, at least, am not. Black walnuts are not one of my favorites nuts, and yet I hear they are considered quite the gourmet treat. A woman has been combing the gutters for walnuts in our neighborhood to sell. "You can come gather as many as you like from our yard," I told her. "If we pick them up, we're throwing them out." I'm wondering, though, can can we leave them to gradually sink into the soil and decompose? It all seems like such a waste: a waste of time and effort if we pick them up, a waste of resources if we leave them be.

Theodore Robinson (1852-1896)
Autumn Sunlight
Oil on canvas, 1888
18 x 22 inches (45.72 x 55.88 cm)
Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme


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