Here’s one answer: I’ve been a total slave to my leafmould bin since about mid-November. What with the painfully short hours of daylight, I’ve been grabbing my leaf rake every chance I get and not coming in till dark (that’ll be when the kids get home from school, then). And on top of that I’ve been planting the remainder of the tulip bulbs, putting the last few plants mouldering on my patio into the ground at last, and finally getting on top of my legions of weeds.
I get very obsessed by autumn leaves at this time of year. The bottom part of our garden is pretty much a woodland, what with four mature apple trees and a boundary with next-door lined with hazel, oak and ash. So the result is a blizzard of multicoloured autumn leaves which starts some time around October and is only just starting to die down now.
I raked through the whole lot in November, and then turned round and started again. Now I’m on the home run with only a few stragglers thumbing their noses at me from the treetops and a leafmould bin piled high with lovely crispy leaves. It’ll take a year to rot down into good soil conditioner (if you want it for mixing up potting composts, leave it another year) – and though it’s a lot of work and a long wait, it’s so worth it. Piles of the very best black crumbly perfection to add to your soil every autumn – you can almost see the plants plunging their roots into it luxuriously the moment you shovel it on.