Last week I noticed that the thick layer of fallen leaves was gone from the lawns around my building. The Hausmeister had taken advantage of a warm sunny day to scoop them up with his riding mower and dump the chopped-up leaves into a big pile beside one of the buildings. I found the pile, and the little gardening fanatic in me drooled. Just drooled.
Black gold, that’s what it was. The thing I’d been fantasizing about all summer while the plants in the beds outside my doors drooped and struggled, while the Hausmeister grumbled about having to water those same beds during hot spells until he finally asked me to do it. That poor, stoney, parched, starving, packed-down soil. It needed a good thick mulch and some compost, much more than I could ever hope to drag home in a bicycle cart. I had tried to start a discreet compost pile under some bushes, but was caught and asked to put compost in its proper place: In the brown bins that are emptied and taken away as waste each week. Truly, what a waste.