Cleaning up leaves in Autumn

October and November are truly stunning as the leaves turn rust red and orange. This is the time for hot drinks and walks in the garden kicking up the leaves with the kids and the dog!

But eventually, these leaves will turn a sludgy brown and will be trampled into the house unless they are cleaned up. Not the best job in the world.

This blog is for the lazy people who hate raking up leaves. My advice is: don't. Use your lawnmower as a garden vacuum cleaner.

I use mine with the catcher bucket on, then mow or "vacuum" all over the lawn and the garden path to pick up leaves that have fallen. This has two advantages. The first is most of the leaves will be removed this way so raking will become a thing of the past. Secondly, the lawn mower will chop the leaves into fine pieces so you will fit much more into the garden waste bin. Or alternatively, just deposit the mulch evenly over the garden beds to protect the plants from Winter frosts.

The leaf mulch will also break down and absorb back into the soil. Given the leaves are now cut into tiny pieces they will be less likely to be blown by the wind back onto the lawn or onto the path. 

No you can enjoy the Autumn without spending hours with the rake. 


How to keep your tent mould free and ready for the next trip

Tents and rain seem to go hand-in-hand, but putting your tent away even slightly damp is a recipe for mould and mildew, and much larger problems for yourself next season. 

To get ahead of the process, take a bottle of vinegar and about 50ml of eucalyptus oil with you when you go camping. This will allow you to prep your tent ready for the next trip even before you arrive home. But remember, this only works if it is not damp and raining. If the weather is not kind, you will need to put the tent back up somewhere dry when you get home and let it totally dry out. When it is absolutely dry, wipe all the surfaces with a mix of 50/50 white vinegar and water. Add peppermint water to this mix so it also smells lovely.

When you are done, add a little eucalyptus oil to a cotton ball and wipe around the tent so it will smell nice next time you put it up. You can also leave the ball in the tent bag, but ensure it is wrapped in a cloth so the neat oil does not mark the tent fabric. 


Cleaning the car inside and out

Did you know that you can clean the car with all the same products you clean your home? Here's how.


  • 1 large bucket 
  • Castile soap
  • Hot water 
  • Big sponge
  • Garden hose
  • Microfibre cloth 
  • Gyre and Gymble multi-surface spray 
  • Vacuum cleaner 
  • Bin bag 
  • Basket or large container


Fill the bucket with warm-to-hot water and add about 1/4 cup of Castile soap. I don't add essential oils. Spray the whole car with water from the garden hose so every surface is wet and then start cleaning the car with the soapy water. If you work from the roof down you will save time. If working on a hot day work on small sections and then rinse off with water from the garden hose so the soapy water will not dry on the car. You can use this same solution on the glass too.

Once finished, wash the car again with water from the garden hose ensuring all the soap has been removed. Lastly, you can use the leftover hot water and soap to clean off the wheel hubs and rinse again with clean water. To finish the outside, wipe the whole car dry with a clean microfibre cloth. 


Put all the rubbish that has accumulated in the car into the big bin bag and throw away, then put all the things that belong in the house into the basket. Take out all the removable mats and vacuum these. To finish, add a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Vacuum the rest of the car changing vacuum end to suit each part. Using a microfibre cloth, wipe down all the hard surfaces. I like to spray the car with a room spray to finish, but this is an optional extra.

If you can, leave the car open for 15 to 20 minutes at the end just to air let the fresh air through.