The first post of 2014 and my first time in the garden this year! In fact, it's my first real work in the garden in some months.

Once Autumn had left us and winter stepped into the garden I abandoned it !

The last few weeks of 2013 and the start of the new year have seen some truly atrocious weather; I think it rained daily for three weeks and almost every day we had gale force winds.

We had some epic flooding in the valley, however my house was high enough up to be safe. Some were not so lucky and a family on a local farm needed airlifted out.

Today brought the first decent weather. It was 10ºC outside, no wind, no rain and sunshine most of the daylight hours.

I used the break in the weather to take stock of the garden carnage -- everywhere is so wet and there were many branches and twigs scattered around.

My only chore for today was to rake up what I hope is the last of the autumnal spoil. The leaves were very wet but the job needed doing (again). I figured if I left them much longer the grass would protest by dying, and the spring bulbs might be hampered in their growth if drowned in a carpet of brown soggy leaves.

This was my third foray at the leaf clear-up so the job was not too horrific. Two hours of raking and carrying may have given me sore arms but the job is done and I am confident it is over for the season (as there are no leaves left on the trees to pollute the garden).

I used the fine weather to air the house too -- after weeks of keeping the wind and rain out, along with fresh air, I flung open doors and windows. For a few hours I let Mother nature wander through the house; it is now fresh (and freezing!!).

I fired up the central heating and type this post.

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