The Joy of Leaf Mould
Leaf mould is the result of fungal action on dead leaves. Unlike garden compost which is predominantly the result of decomposition, when leaves break down it is as a consequence of fungal organisms feeding on them, mouldering them down. Sooner or later the result is that we get lovely crumbly leaf mould.
This happen naturally on the woodland floor. However in managed environments such as gardens it is not always appropriate to let leaves remain where they fall and we do need to clear them up. It is important to remember that in herbaceous beds, woodland gardens and more naturalised situations, decomposing leaves and vegetation shelter and nurture a large variety of wildlife and organisms. So there is a strong argument in favour of leaving them in place through the winter months.
Given that leaf mould is a natural free resource it’s a no-brainer to get going and make your own. Or, in fact, just collect it all together and let nature do all the work for you.