Assistance with Garden


My mother is very ill and she has asked me to take care of her garden but I don’t recognize all of the plants or I don’t know how to take care of them. I’m afraid I will accidentally dig up a growing plant. I’m also worried that the Japanese maple is dying. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I live in Leaside. Thanks!


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

Without pictures and more information it is hard for us to give any specific answers.

Perennials and shrubs should take care of themselves and start growing without any aid. Before pulling any plants it may help to let things get started, it is still early in the season. It should become more obvious as the plants get bigger which belong and which are weeds. You are welcome to send in pictures of the plants for help identifying them and information on how to care for them.

It would help to know what type of garden you have. Is it a perennial garden? Is it an annual garden or vegetable garden or a combination? Is it in the shade or full sun? Are they raised beds? There are so many things that can affect the care of the plants. Hopefully your Mom is able to give you some basic information about what she would normally be doing at this time of year.

For the Japanese Maple what have you seen that has you worried about the tree? Are there issues with the branches? Are the new buds visible on the branches? If you send in a picture of the tree showing what you are concerned about it will be easier for us to give more specific advice. Let us know how old the tree is and what is the environment like around it. Is it sunny or shady? Is the soil dry or too wet? When you look at the trunk of the tree does it start to flare at the bottom before entering the ground or does it just go straight down so it is the same width for the whole trunk?

We send our best to your Mom and hope she is doing better. Please send up some pictures and we can start helping you decipher the issues.