28.6.15

Leslieville backyard xeriscape garden installation

As another very busy spring turns into summer, here are some before and after pictures of a xeriscape garden project I completed recently in the Leslieville neighbourhood of Toronto:


Leslieville Toronto xeriscape garden install before by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville Toronto xeriscape garden install before 


Leslieville Toronto xeriscape garden install after by Paul Jung Gardening Services
Leslieville Toronto xeriscape garden install after 


The backyard site receives full sun for most of the day, slightly sloping towards the back corner and side fence, has sandy soil and will not be watered by the owner as this is a rental. It is approximately 15' by 15' and was not looked after for a while as indicated in the first "before" picture. I kept the existing yellow Scotch broom, creeping thyme, "Autumn Joy" sedum and a few English lavender and transplanted drought-tolerant perennials like  "Caradonna" perennial sage, moss phlox, "Elijah Blue" fescue and Golden Tufted Hair Grass (Deschampsia cespitosa "Goldtau").

I dug out the entire garden which was choked with grass and removed the dwarf lilac for the owner to transplant elsewhere. After transplanting and watering, I applied a 3" thick layer of cedar mulch to reduce watering and weeding. The owner also supplied some concrete stepping stones to lead to the back corner, which in set into the ground.

This is likely the most "low-maintenance" garden I've ever designed and installed. Aside from clipping the dead stalks in early spring and occasionally adding mulch, the owner doesn't have to do too much. I'm sure the tenants are also happy looking at a bit of colour instead of a weed patch!



Xeriscape Leslieville garden install before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Xeriscape Leslieville garden install before 


Xeriscape Leslieville garden install after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Xeriscape Leslieville garden install after



Xeriscape Leslieville garden install before  Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Xeriscape Leslieville garden install before 



Xeriscape Leslieville garden install after Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Xeriscape Leslieville garden install after



Leslieville xeriscape garden install before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Leslieville xeriscape garden install before 



Leslieville xeriscape garden install after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Leslieville xeriscape garden install after by 



14.6.15

Toronto garden cleanup in the Mount Pleasant West area

Weeding and transplanting annuals in three beds


This client has a large (long) backyard in the Mount Pleasant West neighbourhood with three defined garden beds in a partly sunny area. The beds have existing a few perennials like herbaceous peonies, Bergenia, daylilies, bleeding heart, bearded Iris, hosta and snakeroot but have become very weedy with violets, ostrich ferns, maple seedlings and goldenrod filling up the beds. 

He asked me to clean up the beds, add annuals like begonias, geraniums, and Calibrachoa and mulch for some summer colour.

Here are some pictures of half a day's work:


Mount Pleasant West garden cleanup before Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Mount Pleasant West garden cleanup before


Mount Pleasant West garden cleanup after Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Mount Pleasant West garden cleanup after



Mount Pleasant West back garden clean up before Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Mount Pleasant West back garden clean up before


Mount Pleasant West back garden clean up after Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Mount Pleasant West back garden clean up after 


Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto Mount Pleasant West garden cleanup before
Mount Pleasant West garden cleanup before


Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto Mount Pleasant West garden cleanup after
Mount Pleasant West garden cleanup after


Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto Mount Pleasant West garden clean up before
Mount Pleasant West garden clean up before


Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto Mount Pleasant West garden clean up after
Mount Pleasant West garden clean up after


Mount Pleasant West garden clean up before Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Mount Pleasant West garden clean up before


Mount Pleasant West garden clean up after  Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Mount Pleasant West garden clean up after  



7.6.15

Garden cleanup and renovation in Toronto's "The Pocket" neighbourhood

Raised bed garden cleanup: weeds replaced with Carex "Ice Dance" sedges


"The Pocket" is a neighbourhood in east-end Toronto near Jones and Danforth Avenues. I did work for this client's mother in Cabbagetown and she asked me to help with the front raised bed and backyard bed. 

The Pocket garden renovation before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
The Pocket garden renovation before 


The front raised bed is about 4 feet wide by 20 feet long. It's made from 4" x 4" pressure-treated lumber and only about a foot high. The plants receive full sun for most of the morning until mid-afternoon. The client wanted to keep the existing ornamental pear and boxwood but everything else removed.

What was "everything else?" Here are the culprits:


  • variegated goutweed
  • mint
  • goldenrod
  • remnants of a honeysuckle shrub
  • a large patch of Siberian Iris

Fortunately, the area wasn't too large. The tricky part was removing as much of the goutweeds' roots that burrowed between the lumber cracks.

So with a long handled shovel and no herbicides, I dug out the weeds. (As a funny story, the client mentioned that she received many of these weeds as "gifts" from neighbours and friends. She didn't know any better and this weed-choked bed is the result. She had the good humour to laugh about it!)

The client are not gardeners and prefer not to fuss over perennials and annuals. They just want a cleaner look with lower maintenance so I suggested various ornamental grasses. They chose the Carex "Ice Dance" sedge,  mass-planted. Aside from regular watering the first year until they get established and a trim every early spring, the Carex doesn't require a lot of care.

Here is the result of the cleanup and "rehab":




The Pocket garden renovation after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
The Pocket garden renovation after 


The Carex should grow large enough to touch each other and form a groundcover of sorts. The mulch will reduce weeding and watering.



The Pocket garden renovation before Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
The Pocket front garden renovation before 

The Pocket garden renovation after  Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
The Pocket front garden renovation after  

The Pocket front garden renovation before Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
The Pocket front raised garden renovation 


The boxwood suffered winter damage like many broadleaved evergreens across the city. The clients are trying to nurse it back.

The Pocket front garden renovation after  Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
The Pocket front raised garden renovation 



The back "garden" is just a small corner area with a water feature in medium shade. It's non-descript except for the fact that the client is keeping two areas of Japanese knotweed (!) I don't how this small area hasn't been over-run by the knotweed but he likes the bamboo-like stems.

This is something I certainly do not recommend! The knotweed is one of the worst weeds to have and very hard to remove. Yet, here, it works with the homeowner. (I'm still shaking my head!)

The smaller patches of green at ground level, however, is another weedy thug. The front raised bed was filled with variegated goutweed while this back garden has the regular goutweed!




Ravina Crescent back garden renovation before Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Ravina Crescent back garden renovation before 

Again, I dug out the goutweed and removed as much roots as possible. We chose Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra "Aureola") to brighten up this shady corner. It will take a few years, at least, for the grass to form bigger clumps but the Hakone grass complements the water feature.


Ravina Crescent back garden renovation after Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Ravina Crescent back garden renovation after

Ravina Crescent back garden renovation before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Ravina Crescent back garden renovation before 

Ravina Crescent back garden renovation after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Ravina Crescent back garden renovation after 

23.5.15

Toronto garden clean up: Graydon neighbourhood near Don Mills and York Mills Rds.

Toronto garden clean up: Graydon neighbourhood near Don Mills and York Mills Rds.


Here are some before and after pictures from one of my many spring garden cleanups from this past busy month. Typical garden debris removed: last year's hosta leaves, sedum and brown-eye susan stalks,  All the beds have filled in with perennials since the cleanup occurred. It's been a strange spring with periods of near frost followed by summer-like temperatures and humidity.


Graydon spring garden cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Graydon spring garden cleanup before 


Graydon spring garden cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Graydon spring garden cleanup after


Spring garden cleanup Graydon before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Spring garden cleanup Graydon before 


Spring garden cleanup Graydon after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Spring garden cleanup Graydon after 


Graydon garden cleanup before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Graydon garden cleanup before 


Graydon garden cleanup after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Graydon garden cleanup after 


Graydon spring garden cleanup before Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Graydon spring garden cleanup before


Graydon spring garden cleanup after Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Graydon spring garden cleanup after


Garden cleanup Graydon before by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Garden cleanup Graydon before


Garden cleanup Graydon after by Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Garden cleanup Graydon after b

28.4.15

Leslieville spring garden cleanup

A spring garden cleanup in Leslieville


Here are some before and after pictures of a recent garden cleanup for the front and back gardens in the Leslieville neighbourhood of Toronto.

For the front yard, I pruned the roses and hydrangeas, raked last fall's leaves and collected a half bag of garbage that blew in.


Spring garden clean up Leslieville before Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Spring garden clean up Leslieville
before Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto


Spring garden clean up Leslieville after Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto
Spring garden clean up Leslieville after
Paul Jung Gardening Services Toronto


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