Preparing our garden for winter

October is almost over and it keeps on getting cooler here in Toronto. Most of our trees still have their leaves, but I’m sure that won’t be for long!

We spent yet another weekend – Or rather at least one day this weekend doing some more yard work in order to prepare our garden for winter. This time we were busy putting away things like our solar lights, garden ornaments and trimming back some of the plants that had become overgrown. I also took some time inspecting my rose plants and I cut out any dead branches that I noticed.

When the trees finally start to drop their leaves we’ll gather up some of the leaves and put them on our garden beds as we normally do each year. A good layer of maple leaves on our plants seems to help protect them through the winter.

Most winters we don’t get a lot of snow. Oh we get snow, but it snows, then it melts and we have a week or two of deep cold but no snow cover .. so if the plants are bare and exposed to all that cold it can really hurt them – so at least the deep leaf cover helps. Then of course it will snow again and our garden will have a foot or two of snow on it for a week or two until it melts again and that will keep the plants and ground insulated for a short while .. but the temperature changes the garden goes through through the winter because of our lack of good snow cover yet fairly cold temperatures can be quite hard on the plants if they aren’t prepared in the fall.

Do you put mulch or leaves on your garden beds in late fall to protect your plants over the winter?






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Autumn blooms from my garden

It’s started to get cool here in Toronto and I suppose it’s time to get the garden and yard ready for winter even though I’m dreading the arrival of snow and ice! Ah … too soon to think of those things isn’t it?

Anyway … Last weekend I decide it was time to get a start on preparing the garden for winter so we got to work at putting away our patio furniture and tidying up the garden beds to some degree. We still have a lot of work to do, but at least we got things started.

While I was working in the garden I noticed that quite a few of my fall flowers were blooming so I got out my camera and took quite a few pictures. Here’s a few of my favorite garden photos from last weekend:

Toad Lilies! The only time of year that I can see lovely Toad Lilies blooming is in late September through October. Aren’t they absolutely lovely?

Toadlilies

Then there are these lovely chrysanthemums. I have a large planter of them on my front porch blooming their pretty little heads off.

chrysanthemums 3

Sedum always shines at this time of year. I always think of it as kind of a filler plant in the spring and summer, but come Autumn it’s a star when it begins to bloom and turns lovely colors.

Sedum

Monkshood is another Autumn favorite of mine. I have two types of Monkshood growing in my backyard garden. I believe the type in the photo below is Monkshood Azure.

Monkshood 9

This last photo is my favorite. Of course it’s a rose. This rose is Chicago Peace. It’s not as colorful as it would be in the Spring or early summer … but it’s still lovely. If it weren’t for the little tiny green leaf on one of the petals I think this would be an almost perfect picture of this rose.

Chicago Peace Rose

Do you still have flowers blooming in your garden? If you do what’s blooming?

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My garden’s beautiful this month

At the beginning of this month I wasn’t sure how well my garden was going to do this summer.

You see, we had my neighbors putting in a new fence on one side, and the neighbors on the other side don’t take care of their yard at all so there’s always weeds creeping into our yard from their side, so the month started out in battle mode and it didn’t look good.

I’m quite happy to report that after several weeks of giving our garden some tender loving care – ie lots of compost, mulch, planting new plants in the bare spots, making up my special alfalfa tea to fertilize the garden beds and so on … the plants are looking quite happy.

I’ve actually been out in the garden taking quite a few pictures in the last week, maybe an extra 200 pictures! You see we just got a new cellphone. It’s a Nokia N8 and it has a 12 mpg camera inside it and it takes fabulous pictures and video! I was going to post an HD video that I took with the phone in this post but for some reason I’m having trouble posting it to Youtube. Youtube keeps saying it’s going to take about five hours to upload a 7 minute video. Crazy! So for now … I’ll just post a few pictures and I’ll try to find a way to get my garden tour video in another post soon.

Here are some lovely White Petunias. I always put a few Petunias in hanging baskets near my bird feeders. They help attract more birds, even hummingbirds if I plant red or pink ones.

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Another flower that’s blooming like crazy right now is this Octavia Hill Rose, isn’t it pretty?

Octavia Hill Rose

My Lavender plants are just beginning to bloom. I believe I have 7 or 8 Lavender plants scattered throughout my garden beds. The ones in the sunniest spots are flowering the most right now, but the others will catch up quickly I’m sure.

Lavender

I also have several Clematis vines in both my front and back yard garden beds. This lovely pink/red clematis flower is one that grows on a trellis at the front of my house. The plant climbs along the trellis about 12 feet up the wall. It’s beautiful when it’s in bloom.

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What’s blooming in your garden this month? Is your garden just gorgeous right now? I know I’m loving mine at this time because I have so many roses in bloom that whenever I walk outside all I smell is lovely old rose fragrance. It’s beautiful.

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