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Languid aesthetes admire the effect of fallen leaves on lawns, but others will soon have to clear them away to prevent an unholy mess developing. Resist the racket of the leaf-blower and turn instead to the silent rhythms of the spring-tine rake and stiff broom. The piles of leaves are best transferred to barrow and bin using a pair of thin boards. Most can be composted to yield a lovely dark brown, crumbly mulch, but in outer corners of the shrubbery, you might just as well push them gently under the lowest branches and leave nature to take its course.

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