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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It’s been a strange cool Spring

Are you having a cold and rainy spring in your area? Or are you having strange and turbulent weather? We seem to be having all of the above here in Toronto.

Two weekends ago it was cold and we actually had snow with thunder and lightening storms .. yes and odd mix, but it happened – more than once. It’s true. Then it warmed up … then it cooled down again and then it rained and rained and rained.

Currently we’re hovering between periods of torrential rain storms and then warm sunny periods. It actually reached 22 Celsius (72 F) today which is quite warm for us in April – especially this year given that we had snow less than two weeks ago (which was really really unusual).

First Crocus of spring

I guess the good news about the cool rainy damp Spring is that well … April showers bring May flowers … and well they bring April flowers too. I’ve had Crocus’ blooming since about March 20th and thanks to the cool weather a good portion of them are still blooming. Usually they’re GONE by now. I’m also enjoying my Snow Drops this year … often they come and go so fast than if I blink I miss them, but since we’ve had an extended cool period they’ve stuck around instead of blooming at lightening speed and disappearing.

My Glories of the Snow are in bloom in the backyard garden beds and the a few in the front are beginning to bloom this week. A few Dwarf Irises are also blooming. Other flowers that are growing and preparing to bloom are several Hyacinths, daffodils, tulips and I’m sure a few others that I can’t remember off the tops of my head. Basically everything is greening up and growing leaves including most of my roses. At least the heavy dose of snow that we had over the winter covered all the plants well and protected them so I believe most of my plants survived the winter cold. We don’t always get very good snow cover here in Toronto so I tend to worry about my plants in the deep cold of winter but not this past winter.

Blooming crocuses

Overall my garden is healthy and happy … I’m just waiting for the weather to warm up and for all my flowers to start growing and to begin blooming … but what gardener isn’t?

Tell me about your garden.

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