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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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