The Garden at Winterhaven Devas, Nature Spirits, Fairies Oh My
We make compost from lawn clippings and chopped leaves plus of course all the weeds and spent plants that the garden produces. At first, Walter followed all the rules and turned the piles often. Now we've gotten lazy and we just let the piles sit for a year or two which isn't fast but it works. It's hard to get compost to cook at a high enough temperature here to kill the weed seeds here in the cool NW, so we've surrendered to having weedy compost and not working so hard.

Walter makes his compost bins from old pallets that he scavenges from a local roofing company.

Compost Pile  Compost piles

The pile on the left is pretty much finished. The outside layer will get tossed into the current pile when I go to use it next fall. Walter recently stole the pallet that formed the front wall to use in the newest pile--the nearer one in the photo on the right.

This is what the compost looks like when it's ready. I don't bother to sieve it.


We have very few deciduous trees on our property so we go to one of our local parks that has Big Leaf Maples and rake up about 25 bags of leaves a year to use both in making compost and putting the garden to bed. We've gotten a lot of funny looks over the years but nobody has tried to arrest us for stealing leaves.

Composting Drum

When we were first starting out a friend gave us this drum composter. It makes great compost but there is of course a hitch. You have to fill the composter all at once which means mowing the entire lawn in one day which is a good 4 hours of work. And THEN you have to remember to turn the drum every day for two weeks. That was fine when Walter was working and drove by it every day on his way out the back driveway.

Now that he's retired he'd rather mow in smaller bites and not have to remember to turn the drum.