“Oh dear, my garden’s turning brown. That it is brown does not mean that it isn’t beautiful.”

There’s a haze in the morning sky, painted a dull gold by the rising sun. It’s the dust that precedes the harmattan season. As the days of November bleed into December, nature blooms with its final beauty. Almond trees turn a seductive red, as if every leaf has become a flower. Gardens gain a strange new handsomeness. One that’s vastly different from the lush greens of the rainy season. Harmattan casts a spell on the trees and the lawn, a more beautiful death than the word would suggest. To take advantage of the cooler winds and the golden leaves, there is work that must be done. Even when the ground is baked bare, a gardner’s labour never ends.

Some people love to watch their gardens change with the times. Plants dance colourfully, nature’s choreography. However, as is perfectly natural not everyone enjoys this. For some, anything but an emerald green lawn is an eyesore best cemented away with concrete or interlocking tiles. If you are like this, then now is the time to take action.

The first thing to do is take a good long hard look at your sprinkler system. What is worn must be repaired or replaces. Watering cans must be pulled from hibernation, hoses patched, and pipes bought. Everything will need to be prepared for intensive use. And then you’ll also want to pay attention to the way you water your garden, doing the vast majority of the spraying in the early morning or late evening and never at midday. When you water at midday, you might as well be watering with a kettle. Just as you flee from boiling water in the shower before rapidly switching the temperature to something more lukewarm, plants do not enjoy being turned into vegetable soup in the name of being watered. You must also water long and deep and not short and shallow – that’s the quickest way to a crippling water bill and a brown lawn.

Much like life, every period of change presents a gardening opportunity. As the brown, red and golden leaves fall to the ground, don’t just rake them up and put them in the bin. Gather them and let them break down in a designated corner of your garden. When the rainy season rears its wet head again, you’ll have your compost ready. Some people call it recycling but for us, it’s simply the circle of life.

If you’re wondering what to do with your harmattan garden, why don’t you give us a call or drop an email? Blogs are fantastic, but speaking to us in person about your needs is best