Scunny superstar Sheridan sees garden trashed by St Jude storm

Sheridan Smith might be wishing she'd never moved from Scunthorpe (well, Epworth) to, as she puts it, 'that London'.

The capital was, as we reported last night, right in the firing line for what is being called "The St Jude's Day Storm" (October 28th 2013).

And Scunthorpe's screen and stage superstar saw some of the effects we predicted - including felled trees in her garden, a busted fence and smashed glass.

If your garden has been hit by strong winds - even though Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire as a whole are only on the edge of its path - here are some tips.

1. Be Careful!

Like Sheridan, you might have broken glass or splintered wood strewn across your garden, so be careful when picking up debris.

Thick gardening gloves should provide a good amount of protection, but still keep a watchful eye out for any 'sharps' or other hazards.

2. Top to Bottom

If your debris mainly consists of large, flat items - collapsed patio umbrellas, fence panels and so on - it might be best to work down from top to bottom.

See if any of the fence panels have simply blown out of place, and can be put back up, even if only temporarily to get them out of the way.

For any big items that are beyond repair, either stack them neatly to free up as much space as possible, or consider cutting them into smaller pieces that will be easier to take to the tip.

3. Big to Small

The biggest bits of debris will have the biggest impact on how untidy your garden looks, so remove any large obstacles first.

You might need a helping hand from a friend, family member or neighbour in order to do this, but it shouldn't take long to have the largest obstacles cleared, provided you can lift them.

For items that are too heavy to lift even with help - such as fallen tree trunks - it may again be best to cut them into manageable pieces, and remove those one at a time.

4. Finishing Touches

Once the storm has passed, get out there and do the finishing touches needed to get your garden back to its best.

At this time of year, there may be little you can do about any planting, but you can sweep away the last of the small debris - even by lightly sweeping over your lawn, if necessary.

Patios should be able to take some pretty firm sweeping or light pressure washing - just be careful not to damage the surface of your paving slabs.

5. For the Future

As we said yesterday, concrete fence posts typically withstand strong winds and adverse weather conditions better than wooden ones, which might rot if they are wet for a long period of time, and can splinter in gale-force winds.

Concrete gravel boards lift the base of wooden fence panels out of the mud too, helping them to last longer without rotting.

And concrete patio slabs can simply be swept clear of any fallen debris, making an easy-maintenance option if you're worried about more bad weather in the months to come.