October 01, 2019

Big Time Weeding in Little Italy

Or "There's A Front Yard in There, Somewhere!"


At the end of every work season, I reflect back on some of nicer gardens I've worked in and some of the, well, not so nice. You may know some yards or gardens of the latter variety on your street; heck, you may even own one. That's o.k., I'm not here to judge but some cleanup jobs for me are simply more onerous than others due to the garden's size and amount of weeds, debris, etc. Occasionally, I'll just advise the prospective client that the scope of work is beyond what I can do and to hire someone else. There may be an awkward pause but it's better for me to walk away from this kind of project than take it on, find I'm overwhelmed and do a less than perfect job.


This post covers a recent cleanup I didn't walk away from (although when I first saw  the garden, I was tempted to!)


The owners of this property in Toronto's trendy Little Italy area didn't do much maintenance for their front yard this season, it's safe to say. The somewhat rectangular area is about 20 feet wide by 60 feet long and, more or less, covered with clumps of mature goldenrod, Yellow Avens, sow thistle, aster, burdock and lemon balm (all perennial weeds). Whatever remaining grass is overgrown and patchy.

They hired me to "tidy up" things so here are some pictures showing how the front yard looked like before and after my efforts:



Toronto Little Italy Front Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Little Italy Front Garden Cleanup Before


Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup Before


Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
The view from the sidewalk



Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup Before



Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup Before 


From the sidewalk, you may see the overgrown clumps of grass, sucker shoots from the base of the small maple tree, four mock orange shrubs and impressive stands of goldenrod and asters. What's not visible are several very-much-alive stumps of Siberian Elm (weed trees which were cut down in the past) and lots of thistles.


Little Italy Toronto Fall Front Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Mockorange shrubs in the forefront, 
goldenrods and asters behind them 



Toronto Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup Before



Toronto Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Above is the view leading 
towards the front door



Toronto Little Italy Front Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
And the view looking from the 
front door towards the street 
(Photo credit: picture taken by the clients) 


7 Hours Later....



How do you eat an elephant? Take one bite at a time, as the saying goes. In a severe clean up situation like this one, I start cutting down the stalks and leave the roots alone temporarily. Once all the vegetation above ground has been cut and carried away, I'll go in with my long handled shovel and start digging out entire root balls. All the mature weeds are perennials so just leaving them with their tops pruned looks nice but, of course, ineffective with dealing with them on a long term basis.

Fortunately, the weather was nice, dry and cool. Tackling this in the middle of July would not be fun!



Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup After 


Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup After



Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup After 



Little Italy Toronto Fall Front Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Little Italy Toronto Fall Front Garden Cleanup After 



Toronto Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup After 


Toronto Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Little Italy Fall Front Garden Cleanup After


Toronto Little Italy Front Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Little Italy Front Garden Cleanup After 



Toronto Little Italy Front Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Toronto Little Italy Front Garden Cleanup After