Leaf corrals are an ecologically sound way to utilize the beneficial properties of leaves. The corral keeps them in place from fall winds, containing leaves at the base of trees to enrich the soil and provide nutrients to trees. Leaf corrals have the added value of preventing leaves from being disposed of in landfills.
BENEFIT OF LEAVES
Leaves are vitamins for trees. In a forest, 50-80% of the nutrients that a tree receives is from leaves on the forest floor. As the leaves decompose they release nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other trace elements into the soil which is used by trees. Fall leaves also provide structural benefits. As natural insulation, leaves protect soil from heavy autumn rains allowing water to gently soak into the ground. This protective layer also helps maintain good soil structure and reduces erosion which is especially important on properties that are on slopes or shorelines.
MATERIALS AND DESIGN
The choice of materials for a leaf corral is dependent on whether it's installed as a seasonal structure or permanent garden feature. Seasonal structures are installed with wire mesh, wood fencing or lattice and supported with garden stakes for easy removal in spring. Permanent features are designed to suit the landscape with options of wrought iron, metal or stonework. Leaf corrals are sized in relation to tree the canopy and are generally round. We would be happy to design a custom corral in a square, hexagon or alternative shape to suit your landscaping. All corrals are nature-friendly to provide optimum ecosystem value to your property!
LEAF CORRAL INSTALLATION
Introductory Service Includes:
Installation of one tree corral (materials included)
Two hours of leaf collection to set-up corral
An inventory of additional trees on property
Recommendation for alternative collection options
Standard Corral $225
Wire mesh fencing
Natural wooden stakes
Low visual impact
Premium Corral $295
Pressure treated wood lattice
Rich dark brown colour
The following services are priced by the hour
plus the cost of material
Additional leaf corrals
Construction of collection bins
Leaf and yard clean-up
Removal of seasonal tree corrals
Maintenance of collection bins
Mulching garden beds with leaves
Raking leaves from steps, walkways and lawns
Ideas of Interest
Wasps - friend or foe... the truth
Layers under trees
Spring ephemeral gardens, near trees
About Shredding Leaves
The choice of shredding leaves with a mower seems like a logical step in helping leaves decompose but from an ecological standpoint, it is not ideal. Shredding leaves will destroy the many beneficial insects that overwinter in them along their eggs, pupa and larva. Also, from the perspective of landscaping, whole leaves provide more benefit in retaining moisture and soil structure.
LEAF LITTER - the initial loose layer of leaves at the onset of fall
DUFF - partially decayed leaves just above the mineral level of soil
HUMUS - the dark rich organic material formed when leaves decay
My journey into gardening evolved out of my interest in nature. My love of plants has weaved its way throughout my life, in professional work and as an artist, and has now come full circle with a genuine interest in wanting to make a difference in how we approach gardening.
I'm passionate about plants and their limitless potential in designing a space that includes structure, colour and texture though a recent read of Douglas W. Tallamy's approach to conservation has expanding my view of plants to include seeing them for the benefit they provide the greater ecosystem.
Inspired by Tallamy's movement that 'conservation starts in your yard', my gardening services are a way to bridge the gap that seems to separate conservation, gardening and design. My commitment with Nature Gardens is to bring these three worlds together by providing a service that embraces nature with an emphasis on sustainable gardening practices and an eye for design.
DESIGN WORK ETC
My gardening services are an offering to the community and a step towards embracing ecology that bridges the gap that seems to separate gardening, conservation and design. Nature Gardens is focused on gardening solutions that are practical, empowering and full of hope for a more a future that
commitment with Nature Gardens is to bring these three worlds together by providing a service that embraces nature with an emphasis on sustainable gardening practices and an eye for design.
My professional work with plants has been dynamic, ranging from floral design and organic gardening practices to traditional landscaping. Work experience in Toronto and Muskoka includes floral work, decorative urns, roof top gardens, perennial gardens, greenhouses and the greens department of the film industry.
My gardening experience was initially inspired by design. Being an artist, I found the creativity of working with plants fascinating. My experience in Toronto included work with various florists, and gardeners that specialize in perennial and rooftop gardens. From a design perspective the experience was invaluable, as it provided an opportunity to develop an eye for structure, colour and texture. It is only in more recent years, and after working with landscapers in Muskoka that I really began to appreciate the greater role that plants have in building biodiversity, and creating places of ecological value. Everything came full circle after reading Douglas W. Tallamy's work and initiative that 'conservation starts in your yard'. While I've always been an avid naturalist, I was never able to bridge the gap that seems to separate nature, gardening and design. My commitment with Nature Gardens is to bring these three worlds together by providing a service that embraces the inherent beauty of nature, with an emphasis on sustainable practices in the garden.
Our work is inspired by the plants, animals and land of the Muskoka region. Situated on the Canadian Shield, the area is forested with mixed coniferous and hardwoods and characterized by large outcroppings of barren rock. Muskoka is home to a rich world of flora and fauna, populated by important wetlands and famous for its many lakes and rivers
My passion for gardening is rooted in my love of nature and interest in all living things. My first landscaping projects were in 'habitat design' as a young child. This is where I would design a 'mini-landscape-in-a-box' for toads to spend the day in. Fortunate to grow up cottaging, nature was my playground and all living things, my friend. A typical day began with the search for a toad, followed by the challenge of designing an environment for them to hop around in. I recall, the smaller the toad, the more inspiring the project! The toads happily complied, and were always released back into nature. My interest in gardening is linked to this appreciation for nature and a desire to share it with others.
The vision for Nature Gardens is born out of the love of a landscape I've known most my life; first as a cottage, then a home growing up, and now a place I take pride in transforming. Working with a shovel in the ground, restoring native plants and adding habitat features, this less than one acre piece of land is home to a variety of life, some featured in the gallery below. My hope is to inspire others along this path with the services available through Nature Gardens.