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How to Compost Leaves in Your City Garden

Plus a Trellis Fence and Hand Rail for Front Garden


Photo Story by Susan Helene Kramer and Stan Schaap


Hand Rail


Hand Rail, view 1 - May, 2016 - Stan built the rail from hard wood and coated it with lacquer, very much appreciated by Susan. Attached with screws to wall and paver.




Hand Rail, view 2 - May 2016




Compost Bin



This unobtrusive bin is made to compost leaves in a city garden – the size of the bin is in proportion to the leaves generated by a lilac tree (trained to tree height from a bush) and garden magnolia susan (trained to tree height from a bush). To construct the bin I used green plastic coated chicken wire 2 feet wide (60cm), and 4 one yard (meter) long green plastic stakes. I used metal green coated wire to close the circular tube by weaving the wire to hold the raw ends together. The stakes are on the outside and held to the chicken wire at top and bottom with more metal ties.


Now for details:


First I dug a one foot deep hole (30cm) the same circumference as the tube of chicken wire near the lilac, and set the garden soil next to it.


Then I filled in the hole with fallen lilac and magnolia leaves and put back in a layer of garden soil, finishing off the day’s work by watering the soil and leaves thoroughly. Finally I took my shovel and made chopping strokes to break up the leaves and mix some soil in.


As Fall goes on I will add more leaves from my 2 front garden trees and layer in more garden soil as I go. When the leaves have broken down so I can’t see the leaf forms any longer I will lay this at the base of my acidic-loving bushes.


The benefits are all for your garden: 100% recycling and an unobtrusive way to do it. I love being able to make my own mulch this way. Below are some more views of the garden including Katje, our big tabby.


Katje checking out the new leaf bin …



Trellis Fence for Front Garden


Here is Stan showing Katje the newly constructed fence, 12 feet long.


Method: Sink 6 foot long round green poles 1.5 feet deep at 2 foot intervals. Attach 4 by 8 foot trellis sections horizontally with screws, there will be a 6 inch gap of fence above ground; stabilize top edge with 1 by 4 inch green board as seen in first photo below; also, at the base of the trellis run a 12 foot long 2 by 2 board to stabilize the posts from racking, screw the board on to the posts. Finish off the top with a hardwood finish board 6 inches wide. We used a cedar decking board – see second photo taken 1.5 years later. Bushes have really grown. Grow ivy up trellis if you wish. 




Completed trellis fence



On the other side of the front garden we planted a short boxwood hedge and keep it trimmed low – see photo below. Hedge is in center of photo to the right of line of bricks separating property.



June 14, 2015 - Update of plantings a long trellis fence - the large orange-red poppies are perrenials, other side of fence is bay laurel planted by neighbor.



Gardens sitemap


New - Garden 2016


Spaghetti Squash in the Home Garden - 52nd Latitude

Pumpkin (Hokkaido orange) experiment in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

New - Compost Leaves in Your City Garden and Build a Hand Rail and a Trellis Fence


Gardens in Ojai and Santa Barbara Botanical Garden

Tomato Factory - small hothouse experiment

Garden Green Roof installation of sedums

Porch, wildlife pond and streambed construction

Greenhouse construction from a kit

Border gardens, guerrilla gardening

Benefits of Gardening Projects for Kids

Birds - Bluetits - Pimpelmezen growing up


Meditation Garden – Design, Layout, Planting


Copyright 2011-2016 Susan Kramer
Santa Barbara, California USA
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Published by Creations in Consciousness | email

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Page created October 30, 2011; updated November 13, 2011; updated May 2016.