December 17, 2016

Fine gardening? Well, not really...

Bracondale Hill, Toronto back yard and driveway cleanup 


As you, dear reader, may know, I work tirelessly (!) as a gardener during Toronto's non-winter season of about 7 months (which partly explains the low number of blog posts over said 7 months). I'm a "corporate refugee" who escaped the cubicle farms over twelve years ago, went back to school, graduated for a third time and decided to hang out my own shingle. Sounds glamorous and inspirational, right? I gave myself the smug title of "professional gardener" (whatever that means) with visions of working in beautiful and artistic settings, spending time in idyllic landscapes, modern Arcadias, deadheading here, smelling sweet scents there.

That idealism lasted about a week or so.

But this blast of reality was a good thing, Clients are paying me to do things they'd rather not do themselves. (Weeding is high on that list, from my experience. Ironically, many landscape maintenance companies also avoid weeding.) Their reasons aren't important--they're just looking for value for their hard earned dollars.

This thought crossed my mind when I found these "before and after" pictures of a cleanup I did several months ago. I forgot about this small project of weeding a gravel driveway and backyard patio. It wasn't because it was particularly nasty, painful or demanding to do (took a few hours); instead, maybe the absence of nice perennials, shrubs and trees (in other words, non-weeds) made this more of "property maintenance" job and less about "landscape gardening."



Toronto gardening services Hillcrest backyard cleanup before Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Hillcrest backyard cleanup before 


Toronto gardening services Hillcrest backyard cleanup after Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Hillcrest backyard cleanup after

Did I go back to school to become a "horticultural custodian"? (The term "plant janitor" I've come across is a little too condescending for me). Is this truly gardening when, ummm, there's no garden? Am I wasting my horticultural knowledge and skills? Do I dare eat a peach?


I mulled over these existential questions for a minute, remembered the daily fear and loathing I felt entering the toxic office environment from a lifetime ago and then noticed that I really did a great job for these clients!


Toronto gardening services Hillcrest backyard cleanup before by Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Hillcrest backyard cleanup before 


Toronto gardening services Hillcrest backyard cleanup after by Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Hillcrest backyard cleanup after


Toronto gardening services Hillcrest backyard cleanup before Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Hillcrest backyard cleanup before 


Toronto gardening services Hillcrest back yard cleanup after by Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Hillcrest back yard cleanup after 


And now we go to the backyard patio:


Toronto gardening services Bracondale Hill back yard cleanup before by Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Bracondale Hill back yard cleanup before 


Toronto gardening services Bracondale Hill back yard cleanup after by Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Bracondale Hill back yard cleanup after 


Toronto gardening services Bracondale Hill back yard cleanup before Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Bracondale Hill back yard cleanup before 


Toronto gardening services Bracondale Hill back yard cleanup after Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Bracondale Hill back yard cleanup after



Toronto gardening services Bracondale Hill backyard cleanup before by Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Bracondale Hill backyard cleanup before 



Toronto gardening services Bracondale Hill backyard cleanup after by Paul Jung
Toronto gardening services 
Bracondale Hill backyard cleanup after 


While these pictures won't grace the covers of "better" garden magazines (who publishes magazines anymore?), I'm proud of my effort and attention to detail. And, just as important, I was paid immediately by a happy customer upon completion.