This past Sunday I was granted two solid hours to work in the yard while my husband ran to the library with our young children in the jogger. The sun was out, and I had enough energy to rake the leaves. Unlike my neighbors, you will not find ours in a mound at the curb. Instead they are piled on the lawn....the very part of the lawn I wish to see converted to a flower bed. Once they were piled high, I sprayed them with the hose to discourage them from floating away in the wind. Over the next few months they will begin to decompose. And next Spring we'll add mulch and maybe some dirt to the mix. And voila, with no real cost we'll have a flower bed for perennials instead of lawn that has to be mowed.
If anyone has done this before, I'd love some tips. One small section has cardboard under the leaves; it is where I planted ten tulip bulbs. My hope is the cardboard will protect them this winter from hungry critters, but then breakdown over the winter months. If this works, I will be expanding the flower bed next Fall!