Final garden chores

Well, our beautiful fall weather has come to an end here in Ottawa, so I am closing out my GARDENS4U season with some final garden chores:

  • cut back any perennials that get mushy or moldy (hostas, peonies, tall phlox)  Leave the rest for the birds, rabbits, squirrels etc.
  • mound clean soil (just plain, new soil,  no fertilizer) around the crowns of roses and any other less hardy plants.
  • mulch leaves and spread them around the plants in my gardens.  I will probably have to borrow some leaves from my neighbours or clients to do this as the trees in my yard are predominantly evergreens.
  • take any frost tender potted plants indoors (there are a few I overwinter)
  • put containers that are not cold hardy into the garage (those without drainage holes are especially susceptible to cracking) Store them on a shelf or other spot off the floor.
  • remove any cold sensitive decorations from the garden and store them (not on the floor) in the garage
  • pick any blooms still thriving; the frosty nights will kill them fast

 

 

 

That will probably end my garden posts for a while, I will have to look elsewhere for inspiration…

 

Latest project by Gardens4u

As our fall weather was too nice to start garden cleanups and winter preparation, I (GARDENS4U) took on another (small) project last week.  This client lives on the same street as two other clients for whom I have recently reconstructed front gardens.  The client wanted a smaller footprint for the new garden with plants that require no maintenance and stay tidy looking all season.  I started by removing all of the existing plants, leaving the large rock as the focal point…

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before
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after the clean out

 

I replanted a ring of groundcover (lamium) around the tree to include the tree in the garden.  I added heuchera in various colors around the perimeter of the garden to define its new edge, including around the outer edges of the rock. Both of these inclusions make it easier for the lawnmower, removing the chore of trimming around the tree and rock.  The large and overgrown clump of Solomon’s seal was dug out from around the rock.  It was overpowering the rock and looked messy.  Instead, I planted three different varieties of ornamental grass strategically around the edges of the rock, with two tall ones at the corners closest to the house and a shorter one at the front, outer edge.  This will draw the eye to the rock, making it an integral part of the garden.

New plants included the heuchera, a dwarf shrub rose, a varigated and reblooming weigela, as well as several colorful and long blooming perennials.  I reused a few daylilies, some (a very small portion) of the lamium, and none of the aggressive Solomon’s seal.  Unused plants have been potted up in my ICU (home inventory of plants) for recycling (use in someone else’s gardens).  Grass seed was sprinkled on the bare spots where the garden used to extend to. After the past few days of rainy weather the grass seed should be well watered.  If the mild weather holds, the grass may even grow before spring.

The end result was a smaller, tidier garden between the rock and the tree.  As it is currently late in the season, the client will have to wait until next spring and summer to fully appreciate the new look…

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Unfortunately, this week looks like our great weather is behind us so I will be starting that cleanup and winterizing this morning (after it warms up a bit)…not nearly as much fun as designing a new garden!

In bloom this third week of July

More pictures from my zone 4 to 5 garden in Ottawa; these perennial flowers are blooming this third week of July…

new bloomers:

 

Many perennials that were blooming last week are still going strong…

 

…while others are showing promise of things to come…

 

The annuals I planted in containers and bare spots in the garden are also still blooming well.  I always choose annuals that offer interesting foliage as well as flowers…

 

This next plant with the large leaves is a mystery to me.  I did not plant it, I believe it has come from the vegetable garden in the backyard next door.  Any ideas?…

mystery b

 

Gardens4u before and after pictures

These pictures are of Gardens4u’s most recent garden project:

befores:

 

and afters:

 

All new plants are perennials, meaning they come back every year.  All are pretty much maintenance free too, a common request from my clients these days.   The brown cedar mulch helps keep moisture in and weeds out.

I can’t wait to see what the gardens look like by the end of summer when all of the perennials have settled into their new homes.

Roses and storm clouds

I must have at least twenty rose plants in my gardens. I love perennial roses in the form of climbers, bushes, shrubs and miniatures in my gardens and in containers on my deck.  Most of them are in bloom right now.  Some continue to bloom all summer, while others are repeaters meaning they bloom for a bit now, drop their blossoms, and rebloom again later in the season.  My camera does not do justice to their colors that range from the palest of pink to hot pink to deep red, soft buttery yellow to dark lemon yellow,  pale mauve or lilac shades of purple to almost wine in color…

 

 

 

These storm clouds showed up suddenly today while I was out admiring, deadheading and photographing the roses…

 

 

I barely had time to get me and my camera in the house and close all the windows before the big black clouds burst and the rain came pouring down.  We did not get hail here, but friends and family just a few minutes north of me and an hour south did.

 

Gardens4u website revised and updated

Check.   Another job on my list completed…

My business website GARDENS4U has recently been revised using a different theme and color scheme.  It has also been updated with pictures from last season.

My to-do list is getting shorter and the days are getting longer.  That means I should be able to get out into my gardens soon (I hope) before I turn into this lady…

 

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It would be greatly appreciated if you would check out the website and tell me what you think!

Mirror mirror on the wall…

Instead of “mirror, mirror on the wall”, I should say “gardens, gardens on my route,  who’s the fairest of them all?”  I know that “all” does not rhyme with “route”, but let me ensure you get the picture, literally…. Continue reading