November 12, 2019

A Bedford Park Fall Cleanup

Putting the Backyard Pool Garden "to Rest"


A handful of my clients have outdoor pools and I find it's always a bit tricky working around them. It wouldn't be a disaster falling in by accident (I can swim) when it's hot and sticky in August but during a November fall cleanup, exposure to these standing pockets of water is...well, gross, as some pictures below will suggest.

The homeowner of this Bedford Park property in mid-north Toronto hires me in the spring and fall to weed, prune, rake leaves, etc. It's a rental property so the tenants, as usual, do nothing when it comes to maintaining the outside and when I return after a five month hiatus, there's usually a lot of pruning and weeding required.



Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before

I usually leave ornamental grasses like this group of Maiden Grass (Miscanthus) alone over winter as they look nice; however, since the client asked me to cut them down and the tenants are oblivious, I reduced them to stubs. I suggest you don't do this for your own garden as these hardy grasses do double duty over winter.

Unless you like the look below...


Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After 


Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Backyard Before

This area around the flagstone path connecting the house side and backyard patio is always infested with weeds. Either I deal with them now or next spring so I dug them out before they really take hold.


Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Backyard After 


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard Before 


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard After 


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard Before 

Standing water enriched by decomposing leaves isn't very attractive as the pictures above and below show. I had to work carefully in that three foot wide bed at the base of the fence. Falling into that cold and dirty water when the air temperature is hovering around zero Celsius (32 F) wasn't part of the fall cleanup!


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard After 


Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before


Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After 

I usually prune the spireas, hydrangeas and peonies "hard" every fall to control their size in this narrow strip of a garden bed.



Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before 


Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After 



And a bit of work in the front garden bed and driveway...



Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front Yard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front Yard Before


Lots of hostas to take down and, yes, Halloween was the night before I visited this property!


Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front Yard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front Yard After 


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Front Yard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Front Yard Before 


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Front Yard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Front Yard After 


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Front Yard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Front Yard Before 


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Front Yard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Front Yard After 

In case you're wondering, those paper bags in the upper left corner of the picture above hold all the leaves, twigs, etc. I collected and will be picked up by the City every two weeks until December for municipal composting. 


Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front Before 


Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front After 


More fall cleanups to come, lucky you!

November 07, 2019

Downtown Toronto's Garden District Courtyard Fall Cleanup

Hosta La Vista, I Hardly Knew Yew


Repetition in the garden can be a good thing, from a design perspective. The technique can reinforce a specific story, theme or message. However repeating the same two types of plants (yews and hostas) in over a dozen raised beds doesn't tell me any story (at least, one that is compelling.)

Maybe you will have better luck in determining a narrative!



Downtown Courtyard Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Downtown Courtyard Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


I've been hired once again for a fall cleanup of the raised beds in this condo's inner (secure) courtyard. While the raised beds have a wonderful and organic free-flowing feel to them structurally, it's all wasted with mundane plantings which scream "landscape contractor discounts!" Continuous use of yews, hostas, spirea, and euonymus certainly reduce the need for fine gardening maintenance labour. (I believe the custodian trims the yews into meatballs, UFOs, gigantic matcha macarons, etc. Perhaps it's his one chance to express any on-the-job creativity, who knows?)


Downtown Courtyard Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Downtown Courtyard Toronto Fall Cleanup After 


But, as usual, I digress. These pictures primarily tell the story of my fall cleanup efforts which mainly comprise of cutting down (soon-to-be) dormant hostas, raking leaves from the beds and removing weeds growing from my last cleanup visit in the summer. There's no dedicated gardener aside from the custodian as the plants are left to their own devices. Since most of the perennials and shrubs are mature and enjoy the automatic irrigation system during the hottest days of the summer, the plant material is quite healthy.

But visually boring!




Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After


Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before


Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After

Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After 


Garden District Toronto Fall Courtyard Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Courtyard Cleanup Before 


Garden District Toronto Fall Courtyard Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Courtyard Cleanup After


Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before


Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup After


Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before 


Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup After 


Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup Before


Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup After 


Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup Before 


Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup After 

Toronto Garden District Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Garden Cleanup Before


Toronto Garden District Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Garden Cleanup After


There's plenty of potential to create "pollinator oases" by removing some of the yews and putting in colourful and functional native perennials and shrubs. It just takes money to design, install and maintain these interesting pockets, money which the condo management company would likely not like spending. You know the saying, "if it ain't broke,...." 


October 22, 2019

A Front Garden Cleanup in East York

Small Front Yard, Large Potential


Having a house on a busy street can have its advantages but if the frontage isn't kept tidy...it may be known as "that house". You know, that house which the sanctimonious neighbours gossip about because, after all, if things are left to set to seed (literally) outside, it must be the same with the seedy owners inside.

Some homeowners do care about their local reputation while others don't give a flying fig and usually I'm contacted by the former who need to do something to re-establish some sort of baseline with their yards. This baseline doesn't necessarily mean new construction or new plants. I'm reminded of this "minimum standard" of a tidy front yard when a former client advised me during a garden cleanup that "we're not trying to re-create Versailles, we just want to show (the newly weeded and pruned garden) that someone gives a damn."  




East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before


I think the owner of this East York (an area in Toronto), similarly, just wants to show and prove to her neighbours and anyone walking or driving by her place set on a busy street that she does indeed give a damn about the front yard's appearance. 



East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before 


The front yard is very small (maybe 30 feet by 20 feet), composed of four small beds surrounded by turf and bisected by an interlocking brick paver path leading to the front door. It faces east and gets full sun until early afternoon. 





East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before



Toronto East York Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto East York Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before



Toronto East York Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Toronto East York Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before



Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before in East York by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before in East York 


Pre-cleanup, the beds and paver path were full of weeds. One pumpkin plant had mildewed leaves and yielded one small pumpkin, which wasn't Hallowe'en worthy!




Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before in East York by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup Before in East York 



East York Toronto Front Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
East York Toronto Front Garden Cleanup Before 



Post-Cleanup:



East York Toronto Front Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
East York Toronto Front Garden Cleanup After 


The turf/grass is mediocre and weedy but the homeowner expressed an interest to remove all the grass and install random flagstone or some other type of hardscape. She's simply sick and tired of "mowing" the very small area of turf using a "weed whacker" (line trimmer). I can't blame her!




East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup After 


East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup After 


The garden beds next to the front porch hold a lot of promise. She could plant many full-sun pollinator-friendly perennials and introduce blocs of colour and texture. In other words, increase the house's "curb appeal" to the many onlookers who pass by for relatively low cost. 

Take it from me, there's minimal competition from her immediate neighbours for East York's "Front Garden of the Year" award, if such a thing exists, so it's a very low bar to cross over.


East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
East York Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup After 


Toronto East York Front Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto East York Front Garden Fall Cleanup After 


Toronto East York Front Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Toronto East York Front Garden Fall Cleanup After


Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup After in East York by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup After in East York 


Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup After in East York by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Front Garden Fall Cleanup After in East York