Craig Hutchinson, President of Lawrence Park Complete Garden Care, recently contributed an article to Neighbours of Lawrence Park South Magazine about choosing a landscape designer. Here’s his article as it appears.
Prepping your landscaping in the fall
Fall is a time when many people prepare their homes for the coming winter. The spring gardening season — still many months away — might not be on their minds at all.
However, fall is actually the perfect time to plant spring bulbs for a beautiful garden the following spring.
Why do we need to plant spring bulbs in the fall?
Planting bulbs too early may cause a bad blossom, or no bloom at all, due to the summer heat, and if you wait too long, the ground will be too frozen to plant anything.
Conditions in the fall, however, are ideal as the bulbs can be planted at the perfect depth for the colder months. During the winter, the biochemical process that sparks development takes place, meaning your flowers are already starting to grow!
By the time spring rolls around, your garden will begin to burst with brightly coloured flowers, providing beauty and enjoyment that all started with a little effort in the fall.
Best bulbs to plant in the fall:
We have a few favourite bulbs that we recommend for a rich garden that will welcome spring to your outdoor living space:
- Tulips: A popular choice, tulips are the first sign that spring is really here! Tulips come in a wide variety of shapes, colours, and sizes, so you can easily mix and match to create a unique garden that’s as individual as you are.
- Daffodils: A classic bulb that fits naturally into both formal and informal gardens, daffodils won’t attract squirrels and therefore won’t be dug up. Daffodils are available in more colours than the standard yellow, and look great in drifts of 8 – 10 bulbs.
- Alliums: A stunning bulb available in a variety of sizes and colours, they bloom later in the season and can be relied upon to come back year after year. The flower heads dry nicely and still provide enjoyment well past their blooming period.
Let a professional landscape designer guide you through the process
When planning your garden, your landscape designer will be able to provide suggestions for stunning arrangements and patterns that will last through the spring. Not only can they create attractive colour-matched spring bouquets, they can also strategically plant late-blooming flowers that grow over your spring flowers when they start to fade.
Experienced landscape designers can also plan your garden to display continuous colour by planting similar-looking bulbs that have different bloom times. Doing so will create colour and interest in your garden until you’re ready to plant your summer flowers.
Because certain bulbs prefer dry soil after the flowers fade, your landscaper can program your sprinkler system to avoid these areas during the bulbs’ dormant period.
To give your flowers their best chance of returning year after year, your landscaper will wait until the flowers and leaves die back gradually before cutting the vegetation back, usually when they’ve yellowed and can be easily removed from the ground. Keep in mind that not all bulbs reliably return each year, especially some of the more exotic varieties of tulips, but your landscaper will know how to treat them properly so a few will come back year after year,
Add rich colour to your home with a beautiful, blooming garden
Keeping your garden blooming with rich colours through the summer will add to your home’s curb appeal for a longer period of time, extending your outdoor entertaining season and adding value to your home.
With such a short growing season, it’s nice to have bright, beautiful colours in our gardens to get the most of what spring has to offer. Don’t wait any longer to get those bulbs in the ground, and you’ll be rewarded with a stunning array of colours down the road.
Craig Hutchinson is co-owner of Lawrence Park Garden Care. You can reach him at 416-481-1888 or email [email protected]