Finally got out in the yard after many days spent staring out the window. The arborist came and removed the dead plum, the dead maple, pruned the apple tree and removed the big round bush that was in the way.
At the same time, the handyman installed 14 poles for the raspberries. Many of the canes were damaged, so I am not expecting a huge yield this year.
I started to cut away all the rotten dead stuff, rake away leaves, pull up crab grass and cut out the invasive holly and ivy. I was trying to follow my new approach of just focusing on one small area at a time, but ended up getting distracted and working in several areas at once.
The larch seems to have dropped all of it’s needles – I don’t remember quite so many last year (or perhaps they have just accumulated from that last several years?) and I ended up raking up several inches of needles, cones and branches away from the cyclamens, which are just starting to bloom (see above).
I also started to groom the ferns. These ferns are Jurassic, about two meters across and have a bunch of dead fronds and leaves on the bottom. When I started to pull away the dead fronds, I realized that underneath were layers and layers of dead dry stuff. I removed most of it, and was glad not to find any decaying rodents or other unpleasant surprises. Looks much cleaner now, however I still have several more ferns to deal with.