One day it's the middle of winter, the next it's summer and the garden changes from a bleak wasteland into a mess of overgrown bushes.
We hired an electric lawn rake yesterday. It sure beats the manual method!
We've only got a tiny garden, but on the first pass, simply taking it from one end of the lawn to the other filled the collection basket. We did 4 passes in all, and could probably have done more. The front lawn still looks in pretty good shape - the back (where there's less sun and the children play) is showing obvious signs of distress.
Mel sprayed the garden furniture today. So we'll soon be able to sit oustide eating and drinking and being pestered by the local insect population.