October 16, 2017

A Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup

A New Toronto Perennial Garden Matures


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I've profiled the same garden on this blog three times in the same season so this gives me a chance to show you how a garden I designed and planted this past spring has progressed into the fall.


(Here are the two earlier blog posts titled "A Mid Toronto new front garden installation" and "Maintenance is Gardening" going over the design, transplanting and weeding processes for this midtown Toronto front garden.)

But first, I had to deal with weeding the garden one last time before winter descends upon us here in Toronto.



Midtown Toronto Fall Cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Midtown Toronto Fall Cleanup before 

I'm very happy to see how the new perennials have grown during their first year in situ. The garden is in full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun a day) and receives all the rainfall nature provides. Still, an automatic irrigation system helped greatly during prolonged periods of heat and drought. The weeds take full advantage of such conditions, naturally!


Midtown Toronto Fall Cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Midtown Toronto Fall Cleanup after 

The purple coneflowers and maiden grass (Miscanthus) to their right have established well with regular watering during the first season.



Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup before 

This raised bed is isolated so all weeds present are wind-borne. It's always interesting to me to see which weeds are found in the different gardens in which I work (dependent on the amount of shade, soil types, moisture levels, etc.) and it's no different here. With the absence of surrounding trees (especially maples), I didn't have to deal with yanking out hundreds of seedlings but other weeds dominated the spaces between the perennials like petty spurge (Euphorbia peplus) and narrow leaved plantain (Plantago lanceolata).



Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup after


Toronto Gardening Services Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Clean up before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
 Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Clean up before




Toronto Gardening Services Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Clean up after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
 Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Clean up after 

I pruned the five butterfly weed plants on the right side of the picture above to the ground (hence, the empty space) since the stems were covered with aphids but the other perennials planted in May survived the summer, seem to have doubled in size and will provide excellent winter interest over the next five months (!). I'm especially happy with the growth of the little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) located in the lower right and the fountain grasses ( Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’) seen in the upper right of the picture but I knew they would thrive in full sun without a worry.


Toronto Gardening Services Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
 Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup before 



Toronto Gardening Services Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup after 

Paul Jung Gardening Services Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup before
 Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup before



Paul Jung Gardening Services Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup after
 Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Cleanup after



Below are three pictures showing the garden from my initial visit this past May to October's latest cleanup (after weeding, of course!) This will give you an idea how quickly some perennials will grow under ideal conditions and that one should consider their mature size during the design stage.



Midtown Toronto gardening services new low maintenance perennial garden before by Paul Jung
May 2017 before a design was created



Midtown Toronto gardening services new low maintenance perennial garden after by Paul Jung
Immediately after transplanting in May 2017

Avenue Road Front Garden Cleanup after by Paul Jung Toronto Gardening Services
July 2017



Toronto Gardening Services Midtown Toronto Fall Garden Clean up after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
October 2017


They are not visible but there are two pipes running into the garden which are connected to the house gutters (we call them "eavestroughs" locally) so in a way this garden is a rain garden of sorts. I don't think any supplemental watering is necessary in the future since the plant root balls are on their way to becoming established.

This feature fulfills the homeowner's request for a low maintenance, functional (attractive to pollinators and birds)  and visually interesting front garden. For a rental property, this is not the norm I find and I'm glad the client agreed with my suggestions as these perennials will only get larger and striking with time.