I have just spent about 8hrs in my garden (5.5hrs on Saturday and 2.5hrs tonight) making it look pretty again.  In total around 20 man hours were spent on the garden as me, one of my housemates Trevor, and my lovely girlfriend spent time mowing, raking, pruning, weeding, using the whipper-snipper and sweeping the paths.  It took so long because we had let it get a bit out of hand over the last few months due to busyness, laziness and a low care factor.  This however resulted in our real estate agent sending us a letter telling us to fix the garden or face a breach of our lease.

I learnt from this that it is far far more effective to set aside an hour or two every month or so to mow and tend the garden to keep it at an acceptable standard rather than let it get out of hand!  If you've never had to worry about tending a garden before, then take note... keep it under control!