A couple years ago I tried to persuade my maintenance clients to keep the leaves in their garden beds in lieu of mulching. Well you can probably guess how this went. Not. Not at all. I couldn’t even convince my “granola”, college professor, clients to try it. So, I tried it myself. It’s been quite funny actually. I first was fighting my husband’s efforts to clear the beds. I would have to search out the leaves and put them back. Last spring my neighbor actually came and cleared part of my garden. I thanked him, and proceeded to re-mulch with the leaves. Why in the world would I do this? To save the earth?  To save time? These are good reasons, but no. I actually just wanted the best soil possible. Saving time & money is always a bonus.  So let me tell you how it went. Amazing!! My soil was not bad, but the results were a dark black gold over the top layer of my garden. I NEVER got this from the store bought mulch. I had no more weeds than before, and I didn’t need to fertilize my Roses as I usually do. Leaves are packed with trace minerals that trees draw up from deep in the soil. When added to your garden, they not only feed your plants, they feed earthworms and beneficial microbes. Plus, they lighten heavy soils and help sandy soils retain moisture. All this for doing nothing.   HELLEBORE2