The 2001 gardening season was an unusual one in many ways, particularly for the fact that here in the Toronto area my well-established garden needed very little irrigation. Only on two or three occasions did we need to put the sprinkler on for a few hours. The rains we did have seemed to come “well timed” and were not any great inconvenience; i.e. we didn’t seem to have a wet summer, and yet we did have a reasonable supply of moisture.

The growth achieved by most plants, as partially shown in the photos on the Spring 2001 page here, was at least as much in evidence even late in the season.

Late in the summer we installed a new glass front door that improved the look of the house substantially. (The old door is obvious in at least two photos on the Spring 2001 page.) In the two pictures below you see the entranceway as it appeared on September 1 (left) and a month later on October 1 (right). In the September 1 photo my Coleus standard was still spectacular in the lower left. The Unwin dahlias, pansies and balcon geraniums in the flower boxes beneath the kitchen window were still very good not only as shown in early October, but even toward the end of November when we removed them to add evergreen foliage for the winter.

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I have written much about my beautyberry (Callicarpa) shrub in this front garden (see my October 28/01 article on www.ICanGarden.com). As you’ll see in the shot below, it was still very nice in berry on October 31 even though all the coloured foliage had dropped. That’s a Euonymus with coloured foliage reaching in from the right of the photo.

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Moving on even later in the season, the beautyberry was still gorgeous on November 29 as shown below at left. On the right a shot showing our mixed cut evergreen branches (mostly Fraser fir and western arborvitae) along with some bright orange-red rose hips. No great expense here for imported berried branches that have become so popular. I just gathered these branches of wild shrubby roses down in an undeveloped area at lake Ontario!

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Moving on to the back garden, it was Halloween that I chose this year to take the “annual fall photo” from the up-per balcony looking out over the back garden and into the Moore Park Ravine. The predominant oak forest this year had a good (but not better than average) yellow/orange colour for about a two-week period. Again this year, the Nemesia denticulata ‘Confetti’ in the upper balcony boxes still had an excellent show then, and in fact is still in full bloom as this is written on December 23!

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The Japanese maples (both the green and the red) did put on an excellent show this year. This shot was taken just a week later than the one above and while the oaks had started to drop most of their leaves the maples were still stunning.

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Finally, in mentioning the unusual year that it was I have to include a shot of me standing beside a single cane on the rose ‘Versailles’. It is a light pink and this stalk is at least two metres tall. You may be able to see that I’m holding on to it, and there is good foliage almost all the way up and down the cane! This shot was taken on September 26 be-fore any fall foliage colour appeared. The orange flowers at the lower left are the final flowers on the Canna lilies within the pond adjacent to the rose bed.

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