I have a handsome variegated holly tree (Handsworth New Silver) in my small garden. My neighbour has a plain green tree too, which overhangs our boundary fence. Every year around now cascades of old holly leaves fall onto my garden as new growth comes through. I have always assumed that these leaves with their waxy surface and prickly points wouldn't break down in my compost bins. So instead I bag them up and put them out with the rubbish - we don't have specific garden waste collections here, instead garden rubbish goes in with non-recyclables, and everything gets burnt and the energy re-used in a special facility somewhere down the Thames. Better than it going to landfill at least. However I just wondered whether any of you knowledgeable people could come up with a better, greener solution for me. Would the leaves in fact compost, given enough time? They must do so in nature - even in my garden I have found 'skeletonised' ones in neglected corners. And I have found that deciduous tree leaves, even big tough ones, break down quite well in my compost bins along with everything else, provided there aren't too many of them. The only practical suggestion for using holly leaves in the garden I've seen is to scatter them around prized plants to keep pests away. All well and good but what to do with the rest? All ideas appreciated - many thanks in advance for your help.