April 25, 2019

A Riverdale Spring Cleanup in Preparation for New Plantings

An Old Boxwood Facing Its Final Days...



The spring cleanups are in full force and several homeowners are hiring me to prepare the garden areas with the aim of designing with and transplanting new perennials and shrubs. But to get to the "finished" garden, a little tidying up is needed for me to even see the blank canvas we're working with.

This Riverdale, Toronto back garden is very small (and may be one of the smallest I've dealt with) and peculiar. Although the pictures immediately below don't suggest it, the garden will be in shade once the neighbouring maple trees leaf out in a month or so. There's also a very tall spruce tree in the garden that blocks out most of the southern exposure. 

I describe the light conditions "peculiar" because the raised deck between the garden and house is in full sun for most of the day. I can only imagine how hot things get during the middle of the day up there while only a few feet away below the stairs, the garden will be in part to full shade.

From a functional perspective, the garden simply connects the house (via the deck) to the parking area. There's a great place to put a bench but my feeling is that the homeowners simply want to get to and from the house and their car quickly with something half decent to look at.

Currently, two forlorn Euonymus and one ancient, unpruned and decrepit boxwood greet the homeowners to and from work. They'll have to go but first, let's tidy up things!


Riverdale Spring Cleanup Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Riverdale Spring Cleanup Backyard Before 



Riverdale Spring Cleanup Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Riverdale Spring Cleanup Backyard After 



Toronto Riverdale Backyard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Yes, that's a boxwood in the picture 
above on the left side. 
Not what I call an ideal focal point. 



Toronto Riverdale Backyard Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Riverdale Backyard Spring Cleanup After



Toronto Riverdale Backyard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Riverdale Backyard Spring Cleanup Before



Toronto Riverdale Backyard Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Under the spruce, only some 
Lily of the Valley manage 
to eke out an existence. 


Riverdale Toronto Spring Cleanup Back Yard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Ideally, a bench or a small lounge chair 
could be placed to the right in 
the above picture. You can see how 
shady this lower garden is at 
noon while the deck above is in 
full sun all morning and most of the afternoon.



Riverdale Toronto Spring Cleanup Back Yard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Riverdale Toronto Spring Cleanup Back Yard After 


And in the Front Yard...



Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed Before 



Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed After




Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Yard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Yard Before




Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Yard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Yard After




Riverdale Toronto Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Riverdale Toronto Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed Before 




Riverdale Toronto Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Riverdale Toronto Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed After 



Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed Before 




Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Riverdale Spring Cleanup Front Raised Bed After 


I'm finalizing the new plant choices with the homeowner so stay tuned for an update about the new garden! 

April 18, 2019

A Bloor West Village/Runnymede Toronto Spring Cleanup

It's Spring, We're Putting Our Bloor West Village/Runnymede House on the Market, But We Have to Do Something About These Leaves! (Part One)


Every April I receive a few calls from anxious homeowners who are ready to list their houses for sale but realize the gardens need a little (actually a lot of) "TLC" in order to prevent prospective buyers from thinking "if the yards look so messy, I wonder how are things inside..."

Which brings us to this post: another spring cleanup which emphasized "cleanup" literally more than the finer horticultural practices of pruning and weeding.

This Bloor West Village/Runnymede property is larger than normal for me to tackle as a "team of one" but the majority of work consisted of raking all of last autumn's leaves and picking up garbage from the garden beds and patio areas. I'll focus here on the front garden facing the street and leave the backyard for another post. 





Bloor West Village Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Bloor West Village Front 
Yard Spring Cleanup Before 



Bloor West Village Toronto Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bloor West Village Toronto Front 
Yard Spring Cleanup Before



Runnymede Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Runnymede Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before



Bloor West Village Toronto Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Bloor West Village Toronto Front 
Yard Spring Cleanup Before 

The picture above gives a better idea of the thick mat of oak leaves covering the entire front yard, with another layer of maple leaves underneath.



Runnymede Front Yard Toronto Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Runnymede Front Yard Toronto 
Spring Cleanup Before



Runnymede Toronto Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Runnymede Toronto Front Yard 
Spring Cleanup Before 



Runnymede Toronto Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Runnymede Toronto Front Yard 
Spring Cleanup Before
Above is the view from the front porch looking down at the front garden.


And afterwards....



Bloor West Village Front Yard Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Bloor West Village Front 
Yard Spring Cleanup After 



Bloor West Village Toronto Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bloor West Village Toronto Front
Yard Spring Cleanup Before 



Runnymede Front Yard Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Runnymede Front Yard 
Spring Cleanup After 



Bloor West Village Toronto Front Yard Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Bloor West Village Toronto Front
 Yard Spring Cleanup After 



Runnymede Front Yard Toronto Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Runnymede Front Yard 
Toronto Spring Cleanup After 




Runnymede Toronto Front Yard Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Runnymede Toronto Front 
Yard Spring Cleanup After 



Runnymede Toronto Front Yard Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Runnymede Toronto Front 
Yard Spring Cleanup After


Under the blue tarp on the right side of the picture above, there are many bags of black (dyed) wood mulch ready to be spread over the entire front yard. It's a very quick, easy and relatively inexpensive way to increase the house's "curb appeal", especially after I did all the heavy lifting, literally!

April 15, 2019

A Leaside Toronto Spring Cleanup

A (Very) Small Garden Spring Cleanup in Leaside



It's the start of another busy work season and I'm kept on my toes with spring cleanup requests. This post covers a small yard tidy-up in the Leaside neighbourhood of Toronto. 

Nothing too elaborate or complicated with this visit: cutting down a medium-sized clump of ornamental grass ( Miscanthus sinensis ), removing diseased Hellebore leaves, cutting back the three Jackmanii clematis and raking out the beds the few remaining maple leaves from last autumn.

The biggest drama occurred when the client locked herself out of her house as we went about the gardens when I first arrived. Luckily, she had a spare key lying outside just for this situation! 




Leaside Back Garden Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leaside Back Garden Spring Cleanup Before 



Leaside Back Garden Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leaside Back Garden Spring Cleanup After 



Leaside Toronto Back Garden Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leaside Toronto Back Garden Spring Cleanup Before



Leaside Toronto Back Garden Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leaside Toronto Back Garden Spring Cleanup After 



Leaside Toronto Back Garden Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Leaside Toronto Back Garden Spring Cleanup Before 



Leaside Toronto Back Garden Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Leaside Toronto Back Garden Spring Cleanup After


Leaside Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leaside Spring Cleanup Before 



Leaside Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leaside Spring Cleanup After 



Toronto Back Garden Leaside Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Back Garden Leaside Spring Cleanup Before 



Toronto Back Garden Leaside Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Back Garden Leaside Spring Cleanup After 



Leaside Backyard  Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leaside Backyard  Spring Cleanup Before 



Leaside Backyard  Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leaside Backyard  Spring Cleanup After 


Toronto Back Garden Leaside Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Back Garden Leaside Spring Cleanup Before



Toronto Back Garden Leaside Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Back Garden Leaside Spring Cleanup After 


April 11, 2019

A Spring Leslieville Garden Cleanup

A Whole Lotta (Matted) Leaves...


With apologies to Led Zeppelin, it certainly feels like the autumn of 2018 again as the leaf raking continues! I've returned back to my client, Marli's, back and front gardens in the east-end Toronto neighbourhood called Leslieville for a spring cleanup.

In the backyard, as shown in the pictures below, a massive Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) casts its shade (and leaves) over most of the area. The perennial beds usually have a nice 3 inch layer of leaves keeping the dormant plants protected over a harsh winter (a thick and persistent layer of snow also helps reduce the damaging effects of periodic freeze-thaw cycles.)

There's very little colour in the gardens at this early part of the year (a witchhazel would help!) but many spring blooming bulbs we planted over the years like tulips, hyacinths and alliums are popping up.




Leslieville Toronto Spring Back Yard Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Leslieville Toronto Spring Back Yard Cleanup Before




Leslieville Toronto Spring Back Yard Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Leslieville Toronto Spring Back Yard Cleanup After



Toronto Leslieville Spring Back Yard Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Leslieville Spring Back Yard Cleanup Before




Toronto Leslieville Spring Back Yard Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Leslieville Spring Back Yard Cleanup After 




Leslieville Toronto Spring Back Yard Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Leslieville Toronto Spring Back Yard Cleanup Before 




Leslieville Toronto Spring Back Yard Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Leslieville Toronto Spring Back Yard Cleanup After




Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup Before



Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup After 




Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup Before




Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup After 




Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup Before 



Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup in Toronto After by Paul Jung--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Leslieville Back Yard Spring Cleanup in Toronto After




Here's the front yard, pre- and post-tidy up:



Toronto Leslieville Spring Front Yard Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Leslieville Spring Front Yard Cleanup Before 


What's noteworthy, from a garden maintenance aspect, is that one shouldn't correlate the size of a garden with its care requirements. Often the surroundings play a great role with the amount of weeding, raking, etc.. Marli's front garden is a typically small Leslieville area (maybe 20' x 30') and is anchored by "lower-maintenace" shrubs like smooth hydrangeas, a "dwarf" mugo pine and a Korean lilac (also "dwarf" in name only as I had to prune it hard last summer.) 

It's a very exposed site, faces north and receives full sun for most of the day. It seems all the leaves from the park across the street funnel into this pocket garden due to the prevailing north and north-west winds (an exaggeration admittedly.) The pine and two woody lavenders sited next to the sidewalk make perfect leaf and garbage collectors, naturally.

There are also many pedestrians coming and going and more than a few have no regrets about littering. So besides raking out many leaves, I collect all sorts of coffee cups, cigarette butts, candy wrappers, etc. which have emerged out of the ice and snow.

I guess I'm performing a spring "cleanup" you hear about when the city asks its citizens, as part of their civic duty, to go around with trash bags and gather up all sorts of nasty things found in ravines, laneways, etc. around this time of the year.

Somehow, the glamorous concepts of trash collecting weren't covered in "hort school" many years ago!




Toronto Leslieville Spring Front Yard Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Leslieville Spring Front Yard Cleanup After




Toronto Leslieville Spring Front Yard Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Leslieville Spring Front Yard Cleanup Before Gardening Company


Toronto Leslieville Spring Front Yard Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Leslieville Spring Front Yard Cleanup After



Leslieville Toronto Spring Front Yard Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Leslieville Toronto Spring Front Yard Cleanup Before



Leslieville Toronto Spring Front Yard Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Leslieville Toronto Spring Front Yard Cleanup After



Leslieville Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leslieville Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before 



Leslieville Front Yard Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Leslieville Front Yard Spring Cleanup After