May is a time of nostalgia

May is a time of nostalgia.

We gravitate towards everything comforting and reassuring. Mugs of hot chocolate, hearty stews and old fashioned, baked puddings. Not to mention the smell of hot milk and cinnamon. Days are getting shorter with alarm clocks going off in darkness and kosher back-to-bed hours, earlier and earlier. Winter in the Cape mostly doesn't warrant a heater, but insist on cosy linen and loads of atmosphere.

Thus when I think of my ultimate Cape winter moment it entails:

1) Consuming a lot of chocolate and chilli combo's (I've read cholesterol also rests in winter),

2) Wearing an old favourite, oversized jersey (one I've had to defend many times against people suffering from jersey-envy) and

3) Reading novels that are described as a saga in its synopsis.

Curled up on my bed with the storm pelting against my window - yes well that's my winter fantasy.

Our gardens of course want the same stuff at the same time. The winter-bio-rhythm doesn't single out humans and animals above flora. Everything desires a cosy curl-up corner with a little fattening-up, a little love and plenty of chilling out. No pun intended. Help your garden prepare for the 2006 winter and you'll have more lazy moments for yourself.

You should start with a good feeding session. A generous helping of compost or a slow release fertiliser is just what the autumn fairy recommends. Then, and I'm itching to dedicate this space to - mulch mulch mulch people! Our trees are decorating pavements and backyards with art-inspiring colours while creating much needed mulch. The same mulch that is going to protect your garden against frost.

You'd need to be 'way' under-informed not to know by now that forests have the ultimate mulch-feeding-system. Easy Peasy. It's not inside, it's on top. Just leave it! To iron underwear is one thing, but to rake, blow or vacuum (for Pete sake!) up Mother Nature's all-in-one gift to you?! That is so uncool, so miserable and so OLD! We are talking about the same mulch you used to love as a child - remember? Those times you used to roll around in it while vigorously ignoring the nagging thought of undesired 'stuff' underneath it.

There are specific things in life that should never change and loving autumn leaves on the ground is one of them.

All the best,
The Gardening Eden Team

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