November 30, 2019

When You Can't See the Patio From the Leaves

A Coxwell-Danforth, Toronto Fall Cleanup


Finally, my work season is over. It's been another great "year" as a paid gardener in terms of the people I've met (with a few non-paying customer exceptions!) and the gardens I've worked in and created.  The weather has been a challenge at times though with May and November being very tough months to work outside. It was a very cold and wet May while November was one of the coldest months recorded with a snow storm thrown in.

Still, even with such difficult conditions outside, I'd never go back to the office.

The next few posts will show more fall cleanups I managed to sneak in after we had a blizzard on November 11. Luckily, temperatures rose enough to melt all the ice and snow to allow me to at least rake up to the end of November.

This post brings me back to a client I see every mid-November. We wait until most of the leaves have fallen from the two massive Silver Maples in her tiny east-end Toronto backyard before tackling things.

As the "before" and "after" pictures show, it was a straight-forward job given the small area. 

The client also requests that all the "Annabelle" Smooth Hydrangeas (with their brown pom-pom flower heads) be cut down now instead of next spring. You could do this in the following spring in your own garden as this type of hydrangea blooms on new wood ( i.e., new stems) and the "brown balls", for lack of a better description, do catch the snow and can provide visual interest.

But the client doesn't find any value with this type of "winter interest" so...off with their heads!




Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before 


Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup After 


Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before 


Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup After


Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before


Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup After


Monarch Park Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Monarch Park Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before 


Monarch Park Back Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Monarch Park Back Garden Fall Cleanup After


Monarch Park Fall Cleanup Back Garden Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Monarch Park Fall Cleanup Back Garden Before 


Monarch Park Fall Cleanup Back Garden After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Monarch Park Fall Cleanup Back Garden After 


Toronto Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before 


Toronto Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup After 


Toronto Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before 


Toronto Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Coxwell Danforth Back Garden Fall Cleanup After 


Toronto Monarch Park Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Monarch Park Back Garden Fall Cleanup Before 

Toronto Monarch Park Back Garden Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Monarch Park Back Garden Fall Cleanup After



November 12, 2019

A Bedford Park Fall Cleanup

Putting the Backyard Pool Garden "to Rest"


A handful of my clients have outdoor pools and I find it's always a bit tricky working around them. It wouldn't be a disaster falling in by accident (I can swim) when it's hot and sticky in August but during a November fall cleanup, exposure to these standing pockets of water is...well, gross, as some pictures below will suggest.

The homeowner of this Bedford Park property in mid-north Toronto hires me in the spring and fall to weed, prune, rake leaves, etc. It's a rental property so the tenants, as usual, do nothing when it comes to maintaining the outside and when I return after a five month hiatus, there's usually a lot of pruning and weeding required.



Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before

I usually leave ornamental grasses like this group of Maiden Grass (Miscanthus) alone over winter as they look nice; however, since the client asked me to cut them down and the tenants are oblivious, I reduced them to stubs. I suggest you don't do this for your own garden as these hardy grasses do double duty over winter.

Unless you like the look below...


Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After 


Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Backyard Before

This area around the flagstone path connecting the house side and backyard patio is always infested with weeds. Either I deal with them now or next spring so I dug them out before they really take hold.


Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Bedford Park Toronto Fall Cleanup Backyard After 


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard Before 


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard After 


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard Before 

Standing water enriched by decomposing leaves isn't very attractive as the pictures above and below show. I had to work carefully in that three foot wide bed at the base of the fence. Falling into that cold and dirty water when the air temperature is hovering around zero Celsius (32 F) wasn't part of the fall cleanup!


Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Fall Cleanup Bedford Park Backyard After 


Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before


Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After 

I usually prune the spireas, hydrangeas and peonies "hard" every fall to control their size in this narrow strip of a garden bed.



Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard Before 


Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Backyard After 



And a bit of work in the front garden bed and driveway...



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


Lots of hostas to take down and, yes, Halloween was the night before I visited this property!


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


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


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


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


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

In case you're wondering, those paper bags in the upper left corner of the picture above hold all the leaves, twigs, etc. I collected and will be picked up by the City every two weeks until December for municipal composting. 


Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front Before 


Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Front After 


More fall cleanups to come, lucky you!

November 07, 2019

Downtown Toronto's Garden District Courtyard Fall Cleanup

Hosta La Vista, I Hardly Knew Yew


Repetition in the garden can be a good thing, from a design perspective. The technique can reinforce a specific story, theme or message. However repeating the same two types of plants (yews and hostas) in over a dozen raised beds doesn't tell me any story (at least, one that is compelling.)

Maybe you will have better luck in determining a narrative!



Downtown Courtyard Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Downtown Courtyard Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


I've been hired once again for a fall cleanup of the raised beds in this condo's inner (secure) courtyard. While the raised beds have a wonderful and organic free-flowing feel to them structurally, it's all wasted with mundane plantings which scream "landscape contractor discounts!" Continuous use of yews, hostas, spirea, and euonymus certainly reduce the need for fine gardening maintenance labour. (I believe the custodian trims the yews into meatballs, UFOs, gigantic matcha macarons, etc. Perhaps it's his one chance to express any on-the-job creativity, who knows?)


Downtown Courtyard Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Downtown Courtyard Toronto Fall Cleanup After 


But, as usual, I digress. These pictures primarily tell the story of my fall cleanup efforts which mainly comprise of cutting down (soon-to-be) dormant hostas, raking leaves from the beds and removing weeds growing from my last cleanup visit in the summer. There's no dedicated gardener aside from the custodian as the plants are left to their own devices. Since most of the perennials and shrubs are mature and enjoy the automatic irrigation system during the hottest days of the summer, the plant material is quite healthy.

But visually boring!




Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After


Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before


Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After

Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Downtown Toronto Fall Cleanup After 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup Before 


Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Cleanup After 


Garden District Toronto Fall Courtyard Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Courtyard Cleanup Before 


Garden District Toronto Fall Courtyard Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Garden District Toronto Fall Courtyard Cleanup After


Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before


Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup After


Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup Before 


Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Toronto Downtown Fall Cleanup After 


Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup Before


Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup After 


Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup Before 


Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Fall Cleanup After 

Toronto Garden District Garden Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Garden Cleanup Before


Toronto Garden District Garden Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Garden District Garden Cleanup After


There's plenty of potential to create "pollinator oases" by removing some of the yews and putting in colourful and functional native perennials and shrubs. It just takes money to design, install and maintain these interesting pockets, money which the condo management company would likely not like spending. You know the saying, "if it ain't broke,...."