A backyard garden cleanup in the Riverdale area of Toronto
Here are some more "before"and "after" pictures of a garden cleanup completed last summer. There are two rectangular beds involved, both running north-south along the property lines. The clients are another couple with young children and this property in Riverdale includes their first garden.
|Toronto Riverdale back yard garden cleanup before|
This picture shows one of the beds completely choked with creeping bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides), a terrible weed that I regularly deal with. It spreads aggressively by underground stems (rhizomes) that need to be dug out. There is also an ancient climbing rose that hasn't been pruned in many years and is a hazard for the clients as they walk to and from the house to the back driveway on the path you see. A large mature crabapple provides shade and is located in the upper left corner.
|Toronto Riverdale back yard garden cleanup after|
After extensive weeding, the bed actually contained some nice clumps of summer phlox. I applied a 2-3" layer of mulch to suppress weeds that will surely try to re-establish.
|Toronto Riverdale back yard garden clean up before|
The other garden bed opposite to the one described above was not any less weedy. This bed faces east and gets full sun for most of the day. There was also another climbing rose (or two?) that the clients did not want to keep so out it went.
|Toronto Riverdale back yard garden clean up after|
Again, some existing summer phlox were kept. The plant you see in the lower left corner is a Summersweet shrub ( Clethra alnifolia ) that I asked the clients to buy to replace the roses. I asked for three, they bought one. Oh well!
|Riverdale Toronto backyard garden cleanup before|
|Riverdale Toronto backyard garden cleanup after|
|Riverdale Toronto back yard garden cleanup before|
Looking south showing the west bed, you'll notice that big clump of ribbon grass in the foreground. While it does brighten up a shady area, it is quite aggressive and the clients preferred to use the space instead to grow vegetables with their children.
|Riverdale Toronto back yard garden cleanup after|
|Riverdale Toronto back yard garden clean up before|
Looking south down the east bed, you'll notice the maple saplings and large climbing rose that needed to be removed. The rose actually grew up and into the large crabapple tree that's shading this area. It's a bit of a challenge yanking out 12 foot long rose canes out of trees!
|Riverdale Toronto back yard garden clean up after|