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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rhododendron Garden Tour, New Rhodos Bed in Port Credit Ontario

2011 Annual Garden Tour Sunday May 29, 1p.m. to 4 p.m. FREE!

What's new? A large new rhodo bed and the annual Rhododendron Gardens tour in Port Credit (Mississauga, Ontario). Sunday, May 24, 2009, 2-4 p.m., drop by BRG (Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens) and volunteers will conduct tours and answer your questions.

New Rhododendron bed at BRG
Last week, the garden's head gardener and crew were working to plant the new rhodos in a large bed on the slope just southwest of the main parking lot off Lakeshore Road West at Shawnmarr.

Scrub brush and weeds were hauled away, and fresh topsoil laid in preparation for bringing in the large rhodos from their former home in a private garden in Mississauga.

Rhododendrons in New Garden Bed
The evergreens, fencing and new leaves on the deciduous trees combine to provide shade for the sun-shy rhodos. Para is optimistic that these large plants will handle the move to their new location in the Gardens.

Soil has been placed in such a way around each plant to collect and hold rain water to keep the plants happy.

Top Soil Around Transplanted Rhododendrons

Closer look in the picture above shows the soft, fluffy topsoil and the hilly contours of the new rhodos bed. Most of these rhodos are already blooming, which brings us to the Garden Tour scheduled for next weekend: May 24.

Gardeners will know that plants don't bloom on schedule, but do follow a general time line. So it is with our garden's rhodos.

Last year, the tour took place on nearly the same date (see my blog post rhodo garden tour), and the rhodos were at about the same stage of blooming, and continued to so do for several weeks well into June, thanks to a cool, rainy spring.

The cherry and apple trees, too, should be in full bloom by then. A few hot days this week could pop them out earlier, but there should still be an amazing show.

Many apples along the creek bordering the Waterfront Trail have been in full bloom for a week now, but other varieties are still opening.


Update June 2, 2009
The annuals are being planted this week in the beds along Lakeshore Road and the ones near the parking lot. The cool stormy weather has taken its toll this spring.

On the past weekend, a few bridal parties looked decidedly chilly and windblown, but at least the sun was shining for them.

That's the thing about a garden: Each season, each year, each day it is different. Makes you appreaciate a glorious show when you see one!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rhododendrons, Azaleas Starting to Bloom in Port Credit

Stopped into the BRG on a clear, sunny day and saw that the rhodos are starting to bloom! Azaleas, magnolias and more (see earlier posts sidebar) are now getting support from the fabulous rhodos.
White Rhododendron Blooms
These rhodos are just at the memorial sign for the Garden Walk on the west side of the Garden, just south from the parking lot.

Deep Pink Rhododendron Buds

In the photo above, you can see the buds starting to open. Below is another pic with more buds.


Pastel Pink Rhododendron Blooms
These pastel pink rhodos are so pretty, they hardly look real.

Pale Pink and Deep Pink Rhododendron Buds, Blooms
The sunlight almost washed out the pale pink blooms, and the deeper shadow made the deep pink blossoms glow.

Pink Rhododendron Blooms, Deep Pink (red?) Buds
Right now, the rhodos are just starting their spectacular show. They are so gorgeous, I forget that for every single blossom we admire now, each one will need to be hand picked when it has finished flowering.

Mauve Lilac Rhododendron Blooms
This rhodo bush is one of my favourites, and this is the third year in a row I have taken almost the exact same picture. But it is such a gorgeous shade of mauve-lilac, and, backdropped by the expanse of meadow below the new rose garden, it's hard to resist.

When you visit, and I know you will if you can, do pause for a moment or longer to say Thank Yuu to Dr. Brueckner, and to his family, for this fabulous legacy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Planting Irises at BRG Lily Bed, Yellow Wild Primroses in Bloom

The rather unlovely looking garden in the picture below is the new lily bed at Brueckner Rhodo Gardens (BRG) in Port Credit (Mississauga, Canada). The bed was first tilled last fall (video at bottom).
Lily Bed at BRG -- Early Days Picture

The shape of the bed will be refined to the designer's specs, but the important thing was to get all the lilies planted before winter set in. Edging, and re-shaping the bed can be done at leisure over the summer.

Irises Edging the Lily Bed @ BRG

To complement this extensive lily garden, the designer used dwarf irises as edging plants. Already, many of the irises are ready to bloom. While most of the irises were planted late last November before winter set in, a few hundred overwintered in a nursery. These last irises were planted last week.

Irises planted in trench for ease of spacing

The contours of the lily bed are being edged with dwarf irises, laid first into a hand-dug (my hands!) trench. The trench could be backfilled with good soil to raise the plant to the proper planting depth, where the corm is just at soil level. As well, the trench allowed us to easily adjust the spacing between plants.

Measuring Centres to Space Irises

Spacing was determined by dividing the number of plants into the length of bed to be edged using a 100-ft pliable garden hose, after measuring the length of the hose. This basic method proved very accurate, and by using the trench, any shortfall/overage could easily be 'cheated' to make them all fit neatly. Once we knew how far apart to space the iris plants, we cut a length of dowel to size and used that to measure.

The lilies are sprouting according to type, with more appearing daily. This first year will show any plants that need replacing due to die off, or any spots that need filling in. The design should allow several good photo taking vignettes, with the slope of the garden providing a lovely green and floral back drop for wedding photos from various angles according to time of day and lighting. Next year should provide a much better show, but the basics for the lily and iris garden are all in place.

Wild Yellow Primroses in Bloom - Port Credit BRG

Along the creek, on the banks below the first (north, closest to Lakeshore Road) footbridge, there are several wild yellow primroses in bloom.

Wide View of Primroses along Creek

This picture shows a number of the wild primroses. Reminder: All Brueckner Rhododendron Garden plants -- wild or cultivated -- are ONLY to be looked at and admired. We are still amazed at visitors who want to uproot plants or take cuttings for their own gardens. People, that's what garden centers and commercial nurseries are for :-)

Here's the short video of rototilling the lily garden bed taken last fall:

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Magnolias in Bud, Bloom and Balanced Rocks Lake Ontario

At Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens, the magnolias are in full bloom for this Mother's Day weekend. Here a some pictures taken in the Gardens a few days ago (See pictures 2010 magnolias to date here).

White Magnolia in Bloom at top of path
At the top of the hill, west border of BRG (Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens), this large magnolia is in bloom.


White Memorial Magnolia ~ Brueckner Plaque
Just into the gardens from the parking lot, this white magnolia is marked with a plaque for the late Dr. Joseph Brueckner.

Brueckner Memorial Plaque
Detail of the memorial plaque for Dr. J. Brueckner. Another marker stands close to the rhodos across the path from this view.

Magnolia Bud
Detail of one magnolia just ready to burst into bloom. This bud is from the above small magnolia.

Magnolia Blossoms Close Up
A closer look at the white magnolia blossoms on the memorial tree.

Balanced Rocks Sculpture ~ Lake Ontario
At the south (Lake Ontario) side of the park, someone had taken the time to balance the beach rocks into this Inukshuk. Love it!

More Magnolia pictures from these gardens at Snapshot-Travel.