May 15, 2016

Birch Cliff (Scarborough) front garden spring clean up

A Toronto front garden rescued from variegated goutweed


"Part spring garden cleanup, part garden rescue" is the theme for this post about tidying up the front and back garden beds at this east Toronto home in the Birch Cliff neighbourhood.

Anyone who has to deal with Aegopodium podagraria (variegated goutweed or the all green-leaved thug) knows the pain in trying to remove it without relying on herbicides. You're guaranteed to leave just a little piece of root, regardless of how thorough you believe your weeding skills are, and then it's off to the races again. So when I saw this as part of a typical spring garden cleanup, I sighed a little but readied myself for it was time for a garden intervention!



Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup goutweed removal before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Inc
Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup
 goutweed removal before 



See that large green patch above?  Yep, that's variegated goutweed happily moving through the bed unimpeded. Not only did I prune away last season's stalks of the sedums and ornamental grasses, I had to deal with the goutweed,  pronto!


I dug most of the goutweed out but this area has to be monitored. I'm certain a few leaves will emerge in a couple of weeks and they'll need to removed right away. It seems like an endless cycle but this is the case with goutweed (and creeping bellflower and Japanese knotweed and...)


Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup goutweed removal after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Inc
Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup
goutweed removal after 



Here are some more "before" and "after" shots from the front garden. It was a shame the cherry wasn't in bloom for I'm sure it would have been stunning.




Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden clean up before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden clean up before 




Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden clean up after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden clean up after 




Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden clean up before Paul Jung Gardening Services
Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden clean up before 




Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden clean up after Paul Jung Gardening Services
Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden clean up after




Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden cleanup before 




Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Birch Cliff Toronto spring garden cleanup after 




Moving on to the backyard, the biggest challenges were dealing with the large ornamental grasses and cutting away last year's stems and seedheads.  I used my pruning saw (which I normally use to cut off small tree limbs) to saw my way through the tough stalks. I would had taken forever to do this with secateurs (ok, slight exaggeration but my right wrist would had been out of commission for a day or so).

The beds were finally topped off with a thin layer of mulch to suppress weeds and reduce watering.



Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden clean up before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden clean up before 

Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden clean up after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden clean up after 

Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup before Paul Jung Gardening Services
Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup before 

Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup after by 

Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup before Paul Jung Gardening Services
Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup before 



Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup after Paul Jung Gardening Services
Toronto Birch Cliff spring garden cleanup after 

Yes, that's a wisteria desperately looking for a trellis or pergola to take down.