November 08, 2017

A Leslieville Back Yard Garden Fall Cleanup

Getting yet another Toronto Garden Ready For Winter 


And yes, it definitely feels like winter here in Toronto and it's only the beginning of November. I just hope it's not an omen of a brutally cold winter but I'm hearing we're "due" for one.

In the meantime, I'm swamped with fall cleanups so you, dear reader, are the recipient of all my fine work. 

This post covers a Leslieville backyard garden being cleaned up a little recently. I won't use the word "winterize" as I've seen other landscaping companies describe their philosophy about working in gardens at this time of the year by using this term. That word in quotes suggests something you do to a car or furnace or some other inanimate object, certainly not to a garden.


Leslieville Toronto Backyard Garden Fall Cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville Toronto Backyard
Garden Fall Cleanup before 



Toronto Gardening Services Leslieville Backyard Garden Fall Clean up before by Paul Jung
 Leslieville Backyard Garden
Fall Clean up before

It seems like I've been cutting down hostas and herbaceous peonies continuously for the past 2 weeks and this cleanup isn't different. You can see hostas in their death throes above and below. 

Just kidding, they're just entering dormancy with the foliage turning yellow, collapsing and getting mushy.



Toronto Gardening Services Leslieville Backyard Garden Fall Clean up before by Paul Jung
 Leslieville Backyard
Garden Fall Clean up before 


Toronto Leslieville Backyard Garden Fall Clean up before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Toronto Leslieville Backyard
Garden Fall Clean up before 


Same deal with the prostrate peonies below. They seem to begging the garden owner to "cut me down and put us out of our misery." I was only too willing to oblige...



Leslieville Toronto Backyard Garden Fall Clean up before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville Toronto Backyard
Garden Fall Clean up before


And post-cleanup....



Leslieville Toronto Backyard Garden Fall Cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville Toronto Backyard
Garden Fall Cleanup after


I didn't bring my leaf blower (electric battery not gas!) to this location so there are a few leaves here and there after raking. This client is more than willing to tolerate a few leaves after the cleanup and even if she didn't, the huge silver maple in the backyard is shedding its leaves by the second.



Toronto Leslieville Backyard Garden Fall Cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Toronto Leslieville Backyard
Garden Fall Cleanup after 


Those readers with keen eyes will notice that I left a few perennials alone (heresy for a fall cleanup?). Well, with the monkshood blooming beautifully, one would be insensitive or ignorant in cutting this to stubs.

After all, the homeowner has waited all year for these blooms and having me raze the perennial now would lead to tears and recriminations (mine!)



Leslieville Toronto Monkshood Aconitum fall flowers by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville Toronto Monkshood
(Aconitum) fall flowers 



I can't be certain of the cultivar but I think this monkshood's botanical name is Aconitum carmichaelii 'Arendsii'. Just note that while monkshoods are very low maintenance, they're also very poisonous so some consideration is required about their presence. I find them at the back of a perennial border indispensable in the fall due to their height and that wonderful blue.


Monkshood Aconitum fall flowers in a Toronto Leslieville Backyard by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Monkshood (Aconitum) fall flowers
in a Toronto Leslieville Backyard 



Toronto Gardening Services Leslieville Backyard Garden Fall Clean up after by Paul Jung
 Leslieville Backyard
Garden Fall Clean up after 



Toronto Leslieville Backyard Garden Fall Clean up after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Toronto Leslieville Backyard
Garden Fall Clean up after 



Leslieville Toronto Backyard Garden Fall Clean up after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville Toronto Backyard
Garden Fall Clean up after

Again, I want to point out that a fall cleanup doesn't require one cutting down all perennials. Leave those with strong stalks (e.g., the ubiquitous Sedum "Autumn Joy") and visually-interesting and/or nutritious seed heads for people and the birds (e.g., most ornamental grasses and purple coneflowers and black eyed Susans.)


If your gardener ignores this willfully or "forgets", it's time for a new gardener!