Q: A family discussion is left for you to resolve: A pine straw island surrounded with liriope has fall leaves on it along with the clippings from cutting back the liriope. I say to leave the clippings and leaves and just cover with new pine straw. My lovely spouse wants the area raked and new pine straw placed on the cleaned area. I regard the existing leaves and clippings as future nutrients for the plants in the beds. Your thoughts?
A: I spent two hours last Sunday obeying my wife’s wishes in the landscape, raking out old straw and replacing with new. It was strenuous labor but I did it anyway. If there’s one thing I learned from a previous marriage it is that a humble attitude toward a spouse’s obvious misinformation goes far in strengthening a relationship. If my sweetheart wants the old straw and liriope removed, I help remove it. I use the stuff to mulch between my garden rows, so nothing goes to waste!
And I have to admit the pine island in front of our house IS nice looking with fresh straw on it!