June 13, 2019

Me, the Goutweed Removal Machine!


Saving a Bedford Park, Toronto Front Garden Bed


The proverb "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile" applies to many weedy perennial groundcovers plaguing Toronto gardeners. You may know the culprits by sight, if not by name: creeping bellflower, lily of the valley, plain green and variegated goutweed and let's not even dare mention Japanese Knotweed

In this short post, I'll show you how aggressively the plain Jane green version of goutweed or ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria ) can move through a garden bed and cause havoc with other plants. I've dug out as much of the goutweed last year but obviously by the "before" pictures below, not enough was removed as it has come back with a vengeance.

This view below is from the front door looking towards the street. The goutweed has travelled uninterrupted to cover about two-thirds of the rectangular front bed. You'd never know there many "choice" perennials engulfed by the goutweed but they will be revealed...



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


Here's the view looking across the bed:

Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed Removal Spring Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed
 Removal Spring Garden Cleanup Before

And from the other side...

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


Looking up the path leading to the front door:

Toronto Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed Removal Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Bedford Park Front Yard
Goutweed Removal Cleanup Before


Post Goutweed Removal:



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




Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed Removal Spring Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed
Removal Spring Garden Cleanup After

Ironically, this cleanup forced me to divide many perennials like hostas, daylilies and irises that had goutweed stems and roots infiltrating their own root balls. 



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

The new mulch will help reduce airborne weed seeds from germinating (and lower watering needs) but is completely ineffective in stopping weeds that travel by underground stems or roots. The goutweed ignores this surface layer and happily moves through the bed unless you do something about it.



Toronto Bedford Park Front Yard Goutweed Removal Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Bedford Park Front Yard
Goutweed Removal Cleanup After
 


My g(o)ut(weed) feeling is that the infestation problem will occur unless this client hires me or someone to dig out new baby goutweed plants which inevitably will return, even with my best efforts.


June 10, 2019

Wychwood Spring/Summer Garden Cleanup


When the Landlord's Away, the Gardens Will Go Astray...


Tidying up gardens at rental properties are usually a challenge for me. The landlord is likely not around to see or care about the state of things outside and the tenants, naturally, rent for clean and safe conditions inside and not for fine gardening to and from the front door. Gardens, therefore, tend to decline quickly if maintenance arrives once a year (maybe), if ever. The amount of weeding and pruning can be staggering for a one person gardening company (me.)

Fortunately, it wasn't "staggeringly bad" with this front and backyard cleanup in Toronto's Wychwood neighbourhood but bad enough.


Here's the front yard before the cleanup:



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


I knew it was at least a year since anyone has tended the front garden as it was choked with litter flying in off the street, decayed crabapple fruit and leaves and plenty of weeds. And who knows when the shrubs were last pruned?


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

The "after" picture above reveals a half decent garden with an actual path!


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



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



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

Here's the view from the street, before and after some vigorous raking and judicious pruning. And, yes, trash collection...



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



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



Wychwood Front Yard Spring Cleanup Toronto After by Paul Jung--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Wychwood Front Yard Spring Cleanup Toronto After 



Toronto Wychwood Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before by Paul Jung--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Wychwood Front Yard Spring Cleanup Before 



Toronto Wychwood Front Yard Spring Cleanup After by Paul Jung--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Wychwood Front Yard Spring Cleanup After 



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

The view from the porch. I pruned the silver-leaf dogwoods a few feet down to allow someone/anyone to actually see the garden.


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


And the backyard....



Work in the back garden mainly consisted of pruning overgrown thornless roses, lilacs and an Arrowwood viburnum and some weeding in the beds and interlocking brick path.


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



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



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



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



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



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


I may be back a year from now and I have a good idea how the gardens will be then: ignored!