We all enjoy looking round other people’s gardens and this is a quick tour of Leo Windham’s plot from the Cottage at the Crossroads website. Although there are no flowers or veggies to see, you will discover how he uses the fallen leaves. Leo also includes pictures taken earlier in the year when there was plenty of color.

For a gardener, it’s all about what can be done during the dead of winter. All the leaves have fallen from the trees here at the Crossroads.

our garden in the winter | Cottage at the CrossroadsAs soon as they fell, I got them up and spread them in the garden. They make an excellent mulch and help to revitalize the soil. I’ve come to appreciate the value of organic material like the leaves . They are full of trace minerals that the trees draw up from deep in the soil.  They serve as great food for earthworms and beneficial microbes. The leaves are also good for holding moisture in our sandy loam soil. In just a few weeks, I’ll break out my tiller and mix these leaves into the soil. After all, it’s about preparing for spring planting that will be here before we know it. For us here in the South, a few things like potatoes, onions, and spring peas can be planted in February.

our garden in the winter | Cottage at the CrossroadsIn December, I pulled up the remaining plants from our fall garden. In February I will mix in more garden soil and compost in these raised beds. Jane and I are already planning what vegetables to plant and where to plant them. In the dead of winter, we spend a lot of cold, wet days in the bookstore perusing gardening books and magazines . Every time we do this, we pick up new ideas and fresh tips. After all, a garden is an ongoing learning process.  What worked last year, and what didn’t work well last year??? It’s a new challenge each season.

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