August 03, 2019

A New Toronto Pollinator Garden near Wychwood Barns

Giving Plenty of Reasons for Bees and Butterflies to Come Over


I wouldn't say removing front lawns and replacing turf with wildlife-friendly plants is my raison d'etre but when the opportunity arises, it's exciting to plan and execute such a sustainable idea. In the right situation, lawns are great to play on, easy on the feet, capture rainwater, etc. but let's face it, having a nice looking patch of grass takes energy, time and money to maintain. (For most lawn owners, especially it seems male ones, "nice looking" means a weed-free carpet of Kentucky Bluegrass mowed to 2.5 inches worthy of garden parties and weddings.)

What happens, though, when your small front lawn (say an area of 12 feet by 12 feet as in this post) goes to sh*t and you don't want to deal with re-sodding or re-seeding and get into the endless cycle of fertilizing, watering, and mowing your very expensive 144 square feet of Toronto property? What if, on the other hand, you (the homeowner) prefers to have plants which invite birds, bees, butterflies as opposed to raccoons and skunks ripping up your turf looking for grubs? 

There are options....


I've worked for Laura and Greg, the homeowners, for many years and seen the front lawn (aforementioned 144 square foot area) deteriorate from pests and weeds to the point that they pulled out whatever remaining patches of grass last year. Laura wanted to plant some hydrangeas but I suggested another strategy. She has three young children so perhaps she would be interested in teaching them about ecology, life cycles of plants and insects, etc. Maybe transplanting a range of native plants (perennials here) could be more informative and educational (best case scenario for the kids) while involving less work, aside from occasional watering and seasonal pruning (best case scenario for Laura and Greg.)

They were very open to the idea of ditching their rotary mower so asked me to come up with a list of native plants to Southern Ontario and "make over" the front. They got the plants right away (I love committed clients)  but I had to weed the front garden first in preparation.

Below are some pictures of the front garden before the renovation from various views. The site is in full sun, facing south, with no automatic irrigation system in place. The assortment of vigorously-growing weeds shows that growing nicer stuff was promising.



Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Garden Installation Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Garden Installation Before 




Toronto Wychwood Pollinator Garden Installation Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Wychwood Pollinator Garden Installation Before 




Toronto Wychwood Pollinator Garden Installation Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Wychwood Pollinator Garden Installation Before 




Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Installation Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Installation Before 




Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Installation Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Installation Before




Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Makeover Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Makeover Before




Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Garden Makeover Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Garden Makeover Before 




Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Garden Makeover Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Garden Makeover Before




Toronto Wychwood Pollinator Garden Installation Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Wychwood Pollinator Garden Installation Before 



Stage One: Let's Get Rid of Those Weeds!




Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Installation Mid Way by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front
Garden Installation Mid Way 


Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Installation Mid Way by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front
Garden Installation Mid Way 



Stage Two: Transplanting Perennials


Now that I had a clean "blank slate", planting the new native perennials was straight-forward. (What did I plant? Some of the usual pollinator-friendly stalwarts like Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Asclepias, and Monarda.)

I placed them in groups and formed a mulched pathway around the massed plantings. This allows for easier access to maintain the perennials (yes, I know "maintain" is a dirty word but "no maintenance" is an even dirtier phrase). Laura's kids can walk around easily to view the butterflies and bees in closeup while I can weed in the future without constantly worrying about stepping on things. 

Walking in this garden is greatly encouraged!



Toronto Wychwood Pollinator Front Garden Installation After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Wychwood Pollinator Front
Garden Installation After 


Toronto Wychwood Pollinator Garden Installation After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Wychwood Pollinator
 Garden Installation After 



Toronto Wychwood Pollinator Garden Installation After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Wychwood Pollinator
 Garden Installation After



Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Installation After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator
Front Garden Installation After 


Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Makeover After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator
Front Garden Makeover After 



Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Garden Installation After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator
Garden Installation After


Wychwood Toronto Pollinator Garden Makeover After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Wychwood Toronto Pollinator
Garden Makeover After


And a Few Weeks Later...


I returned to clip the "L" shaped boxwood hedge, weed and add some more mulch. All the perennials are growing happily, I'm glad to report. (The Anise-Hyssop (Agastache) seemed to have doubled in size.) I saw many types of butterflies and bees visiting this small garden. 

It's gratifying to add beauty and food (for the insects and perhaps birds) to Toronto, one garden at a time. I don't miss planting hydrangeas at all and I'm sure Laura would agree.



Wychwood Barns Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Makeover After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Wychwood Barns Toronto Pollinator
Front Garden Makeover After 


Wychwood Barns Toronto Pollinator Front Garden Makeover After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Wychwood Barns Toronto Pollinator
Front Garden Makeover After













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