Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mayapples, Primroses, Mauve Rhododendrons, Magnolias, Snowdrops : Waiting for Spring in Mississauga Ontario

Flowers and shrubs in bloom, tamaracks in autumn, a rose garden ready for winter: Selected photos courtesy D. J. Culham, BRGSC Chair and Volunteers Co-ordinator.

While waiting for this interminable winter to end in Southern Ontario, let's look at pictures of blooms past to brighten these ersatz Spring days.

Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) in Brueckner Garden

Mayapples are native to eastern North America,and can be found in the Garden wooded areas. Look for the flower in May, and the 'apple' later in the summer. You may also know it by the name 'Mandrake' or 'hog apple'.

Tamaracks (Larch) in the Fall BRG Lake Ontario
The tamaracks at Brueckner Rhododendron Garden (BRG) can be seen on the south edge close to the Lake Ontario shoreline, south of the Waterfront Trail and east of the bridge.  Already this spring, they are flushed with new growth green, and seem so happy in this location, plans are afoot to add more tamaracks (also known as Larch) this year.

Rose Garden Beds Ready for Winter
Here's a photo from the archives: The Rose Garden all prepped for Winter 2009. Last year - 2010 - volunteers and garden staff transplanted Iceberg and added new roses as well.

Yellow Primroses at Tecumseh Creek BRG
Early each spring, we look for these gorgeous yellow primroses that grow along the banks of Tecumseh Creek, the waterway that bisects the BRG. We looked hopefully last week, but in vain. And this week's snow and cold will only delay all spring blooming plants for a while.

Magnolia in 'Marta's Bed' at BRG Late April 2010
This gorgeous magnolia, a tall one, blooms faithfully each year, half hidden in the back of what we call 'Marta's bed', for Marta Brueckner, who along with her late husband, Dr. Joe Brueckner, donated many of the heritage and hybrid rhododendrons from their private gardens.

Magnolias in Bloom along BRG Garden Path
Several new magnolia trees were transplanted from Hancock Nursery to BRG last spring, close to the larger, more robust white magnolia closest to the path that runs south from the parking lot. The original magnolia at this location can be identified by the memorial plaque placed below it, honoring Dr. Brueckner.

Close up of Mauve Rhododendron Flower
And on to the raison d'etre for the BRG: The rhododendrons, like this gorgeous bloom photographed at peak bloom last year.

Mauve Rhododendron Shrub in Full Bloom
The name of this beauty escapes me, and as soon as I get the name, I will post it here.

Snowdrops at BRG First Blooms in 2011
And while we were disappointed that it was too early in the season for blooming primroses, we were quite chuffed to spot this very healthy clump of snowdrops in the Heritage Garden area, and I took its picture.

 Other early bloomers, though not nearly as robust as these snowdrops, were the valiant few crocuses flashing pale mauve near Godfreys Lane and Lakeshore Road West.

Thanks again to David Culham for brightening these early spring days with memories of the Garden past.

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