The July rain storms over Southern Ontario are doing no favours for the rose garden, and even less for brides who planned to take their wedding pictures at Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens this month.
Saturday, after the second of two deluges so far that day, I did a fast walk through the gardens to see how they were faring. Here are some pictures and a video of the aftermath. Click on a photo to enlarge it, then click the Back Button to return to this page.
This year's unusually heavy and protracted July rainstorms have turned the lower-lying lawn into soggy marshes, and saturated the lawns and flower beds, overpowering drainage systems and flooding the creek. This picture shows the runoff flowing over the trail.
These pictures show the scene two hours after Saturday's second rainstorm; the water had been draining towards the creek for some time already, but was still heavy enough to flood the trail along the creek. This area is prone to flooding (the water table is already very high here), so it's to be hoped the drainage issues can be resolved.
In the above photo, you can see the pools of water; What you cannot see is how this water is also covering the entire lawn area. Take a step off the paved paths, and you're in an inch or two of cold water.
Here's how one of the rose garden beds looked several hours after the second rainstorm. A large hosta bed rises to the north and drains down the slope past the rose garden. Although the rose beds have had proper drainage installed, these unusually high rainfalls are simply too much for it to handle.
The grounds and flower beds are simply saturated with all the rain water; As I write this Sunday afternoon, it's raining again, though not as hard (yet) as it had been during the two-hour deluge this morning. On the plus side, the lawns, shrubs, and large and newly planted trees are unseasonably green and lush.
This rose bed is on a slope, and also at the top of the slope, and the rose bushes are well-established. This bed of Captain Samuel Holland - a Canadian Explorer rose - seems to be doing the best of all the rose beds. Even Chuckles, down near the bottom of the garden, was looking a little woebegone.
With much of the Gardens saturated, soggy, squishy and downright muddy, the usual volunteer tasks like weeding and planting will have to be put on hold until it dries out.
Let's hope the heavy, daily rain storms end soon! Volunteers need to get tending the rose and lily gardens. Outdoor wedding party photos look better, too, when taken on a sunny summer day.
Here's a short iMovie video of the high water levels in the creek that runs through the Gardens along the Waterfront Trail to Lake Ontario: If the video won't play, click the YouTube After the Rain link.