When Life Gives You Lemons (or magnolia pods)
When we purchased out house, there wasn't much of a garden on the lot. this was actually a plus for us, since we wanted to do our own thing. The best part of the backyard were the Fig, Pecan, and Southern Magnolia trees. The Southern Magnolia tree is a great specimen and was probably planted when the house was first build in the late 50's. It makes it possible for us to sit out on the patio in the summer and not melt...that is some really good shade, let me tell you.
We've done a little work on it (pruning it off the roof and removing a branch that was hanging over the pool), but over all it was in great shape. Southern Magnolias are great trees. They are what most people think of when magnolia trees are mentioned. Their leaves are a deep glossy green and rather stiff. They are evergreen and look beautiful year round. In the early summer it has fragrant (assuming they aren't 40 feet in the air) white blooms. The thing that nobody really talks about when they talk about magnolia trees, is what those fabulous flowers turn into...weird pods that drop off the tree in the fall.
These pods are the worst. They cause people to twist their ankles and drop on people's head. they are a total nuisance and I swear the tree makes a million of them. The fist fall here, we bagged them up and trashed them. We filled more leaf bags than I want to admit, but they needed to go and we didn't have any other ideas.
You can't really mulch them with the mower and they take too long to break down in the compost. So after the first year, we came up with a plan. They have become a mulch for part of the bed near the shed. We hoped it would keep our one dog from belly crawling under the shed...it didn't work on the dog, but it did work as a mulch.
So now when we gather them up, we cart them over and dump them in the bed. Today I dumped 4 five gallon buckets full. This wasn't the first collection of the season, nor is it close to the last. It's defiantly a courser looking mulch, but I think it looks pretty nice.