December 06, 2019

Returning to Bedford Park for Another Fall Cleanup

When the Gardener is Away, the Goutweed will Spread


Winter is firmly entrenched here in Toronto as I write this blog entry. It's hard to believe that only up to a week ago I was working outside and finishing up my work season. Now's the time to "rest, read and recover"!

I have a few more fall cleanups to show you and that'll be it, I promise. Well, until next fall.

This entry goes over some work I performed in a front garden I visit maybe twice a year. The property is located in the Bedford Park neighbourhood of north-central Toronto. The garden faces north but receives full sun for most of the day. With the client's help, we've planted many lower-maintenance perennials over the past few years like purple coneflower, Oriental poppy, aster, and Japanese anemone.

There's quite a bit of variety in terms of plant material in the front. I "inherited" many common (over-used?) shrubs and perennials like holly, euonymus, daylilies and irises. Admittedly, they are hardy so I can't be too harsh in my criticism. However, I also inherited a very persistent clump (to be more accurate, clumps) of one of the worst perennial weeds I have to deal with: goutweed or ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria). I wouldn't say it's number one on my top ten list of "bad" weeds (I reserve that spot to Japanese knotweed) but it's been a challenge trying to control goutweed in this garden. (I've profiled my goutweed "eradication" attempts in a post titled "Me, the Goutweed Removal Machine!: Saving a Bedford Park, Toronto Front Garden Bed" for your amusement.)

I'll get back to goutweed travails a little later. First, here are the "before" and "after" pictures of the fall cleanup:



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


The garden area is rectangular and requires very little maintenance, aside from occasional watering during very hot and dry spells. Many of the neighbours have grass which, of course, involves regular mowing, watering, fertilizing, etc.

Typical for fall cleanups, I cut down dead or dying perennial foliage and stems and prune, as needed, the woody plants like the euonymus and Black Lace Elderberry for shape and control.

The biggest maintenance headache is trying to remove, once and for all, the plain mean and green goutweed without using a non-selective herbicide like glyphosate.


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


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



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


You likely can't see them very well in the "after" pictures but there are many small clumps of goutweed just waiting to spread aggressively next spring when temperatures rise again. I did dig out most (obviously not all) of the goutweed in May 2019 but since no one has tended this garden since then, any small piece of goutweed rhizome left in the soil has grown unchecked.


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



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

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



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



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



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


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



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



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


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



Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Inc.--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup Before



Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup After by Paul Jung Gardening Services Inc.--a Toronto Organic Gardener
Toronto Bedford Park Fall Cleanup After 

And in the backyard...



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



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


I'll contact the client again next April to schedule yet another "goutweed removal session"; otherwise, this front garden that holds lots of promise will be smothered again by the green menace!

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