December 04, 2019

A Very Late Fall Cleanup in Humewood--Oakwood Village



November's been a blur for me. One fall cleanup looks and feels like another. But posting "before" and "after" pictures gives you, dear reader, a better idea of what I do at the tail end of my work season.

I travel to an Toronto neighbourhood called "Oakwood Village" in this post to show yet another example of "getting a garden ready for winter" (as one of my clients calls it). I'm writing this post in December so I'm unofficially in the process of "getting a gardener (me) ready for winter"!

My clients' "lawn-less" backyard means much lower maintenance requirements (to be honest, I think they do nothing in terms of weeding, raking, etc.; hence, they hire me). No grass means no mowing, fertilizing, watering, etc. for this busy family.



Oakwood Vaughan Toronto Backyard Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Oakwood Vaughan Toronto Backyard Fall Cleanup Before 


Oakwood Vaughan Toronto Backyard Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Oakwood Vaughan Toronto Backyard Fall Cleanup After


Besides raking out the beds and cutting down soon-to-be dormant perennials like hostas and Siberian Bugloss, I pruned the P.G. hydrangea standard and Burning Bush (as shown above) by about a quarter to a third; otherwise, these shrubs will get very large and out-scale the small garden in a few years.



Oakwood Vaughan Toronto Backyard Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Oakwood Vaughan Toronto Backyard Fall Cleanup Before 


Oakwood Vaughan Toronto Backyard Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Oakwood Vaughan Toronto Backyard Fall Cleanup After



Toronto Oakwood Vaughan Backyard Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Oakwood Vaughan Backyard Fall Cleanup Before 


Toronto Oakwood Vaughan Backyard Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Oakwood Vaughan Backyard Fall Cleanup After


I also like the geometric design: all the planting and patio areas are rectangles, except for the small area in front of the back shed which is laid with random natural flagstone as shown above. Since the lot is narrow yet long, it's an efficient way to maximize the use of the space.



Toronto Oakwood Vaughan Backyard Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Oakwood Vaughan Backyard Fall Cleanup Before 


The small Rose of Sharon shrub shown above to the right, as usual, is loaded with seedpods which will release very viable seeds next spring. I prefer not to be pricking out the dozens of seedlings which will surely emerge in a few months so, as a preventative measure, I always prune away the pods.



Toronto Oakwood Vaughan Backyard Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Services Company
Toronto Oakwood Vaughan Backyard Fall Cleanup After



York Humewood Backyard Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
York Humewood Backyard Fall Cleanup Before 


If you have hydrangeas, every autumn you face the existential question of "shall I remove the brown spent flower (heads) or not?" And the answer, like so often in life, will be "it depends." It depends if you want to see the snow collect on them (brown balls become puffy white ones). It also depends if you don't want to tackle the job of pruning the balls off next spring and rather have things "tidy" for the next 4 months during a Toronto winter. For me with this hydrangea standard (i.e., "lollipop" form), I'm sure heavy snow and ice will just weigh down the thin branches and possibly split the shrub in a catastrophic manner. So, again as a preventative measure, I "lightened" the load and cut off the conical flowers ("panicles" if you prefer a more accurate description). Knowing the clients don't care about "winter interest" in the garden makes the decision very easy as well.



York Humewood Backyard Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
York Humewood Backyard Fall Cleanup After 


And in the front....



Toronto Front Yard Oakwood Vaughan Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Front Yard Oakwood Vaughan Fall Cleanup Before 

In the garden bed leading to the front door, the cleanup comprised of raking and blowing out the large amount of leaves. This narrow strip always "attracts" the leaves from both of the immediate neighbours' trees--the large linden tree to the left (north) and the large beech tree to the right (south). 



Toronto Front Yard Oakwood Vaughan Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
Toronto Front Yard Oakwood Vaughan Fall Cleanup After

You may notice that while I did prune the two shrubs in the backyard, I didn't touch the large clump of Maiden Grass ornamental grass (Miscanthus spp.) next to the railing. Reducing the clump to mere stubs in late fall would be silly yet I see this occurring all over the city!



York Humewood Fall Cleanup Front Yard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
York Humewood Fall Cleanup Front Yard Before 

York Humewood Fall Cleanup Front Yard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Organic Gardening Company
York Humewood Fall Cleanup Front Yard After

York Humewood Fall Cleanup Front Yard Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
York Humewood Fall Cleanup Front Yard Before 



York Humewood Fall Cleanup Front Yard After by Paul Jung Gardening Services--a Toronto Gardening Company
York Humewood Fall Cleanup Front Yard After

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