Though Cyprus is known for its sunny, dry weather throughout a long summer season, the cooler, rainy winter is critical for sustaining plant life on the island—and it can be the busiest time of year for a gardener. Anassa’s Head Gardener, Spyros Pelopida, recommends several steps to refresh a Mediterranean garden. Citrus trees should be harvested (our oranges and lemons go to the kitchen to be served in the staff canteen). The shrubbery needs much attention: the summer growth must be cut back, sometimes dramatically (lantana is cut to the ground, while bougainvillea is cut back to its woody vine). The branches of the olive trees must be thinned, with growth in the centre removed so that light can filter in. Since this is the time of year when plants should rest, you should not apply fertiliser to the shrubbery. Nevertheless, the cut-back plants will soon form new shoots. As Anassa’s gardeners move from section to section, they must check the grey-water irrigation system and make needed repairs to the pipes. Rainy weather leads to the germination of seeds—and lots of weeding! The lawns need monthly mowing. Spyros sets the schedule carefully, treating the woods in October and leaving seaside plants alone until February—they provide protection to inland plants from seawater blowing in from winter storms. Finally, now is the time to add new plantings, like lantana propagated from cuttings. Follow these tips and your Mediterranean garden will be poised for a glorious summer of growth.