Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rose Garden Design Legend Map: Name That Rose

Almost four years in the making, the Rose Garden design has a legend to help name that rose!

It's not perfect, but this map of the rose beds at Brueckner Rhododendron Garden will serve the purpose for now. And just in time, as the Rose Garden is in fine bloom this week. Have a look:

Rose Garden Design and Legend for BRG Rose Beds
 Click on the above image to view this legend / map in a larger size, then click the Back button to return to this page. Before you visit the Garden (BRG map), you may want to print out the legend to bring with you.

Brueckner Rhododendron Garden Mississauga Ontario
 The Rose Garden is just over the rise from the parking lot entrance on Lakeshore Road West at Shawnmarr, and so is not readily visible. Note, too, the hosta beds (next to No. 9) as they are coming into bloom as well.

Rose Garden Design Legend No. 4: Scentimental Rose
 Here's a closer look at No. 4 in the legend: Scentimental. It seems no two Scentimental blooms are the same.  And they are very fragrant! Just to the rear of Scentimental is Brother Cadfael; past that, in No. 2 is Evelyn. See in detail on this post. I see by the date, the roses are in bloom almost to the same day as they bloomed last year. Last year this time, most of the rhodos and azaleas had finished blooming; this year, there are a fair number of rhodos still in bloom.

Scentimental Roses in Full Bloom BRG Port Credit
 Here's another picture of Scentimental. This year and for the first time, all the roses in the Garden were hard pruned, and they are looking great. The white roses seen in the right background are Iceberg.

Eglantyne Pink Rose in Full Bloom
 The roses in this bed in the picture above were the subject of a lively discussion amongst Garden committee members: Was this Brother Cadfael? Eglantyne? The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild? All those roses are pink. (It's likely apparent why we were in need of a rose garden design map and legend.)

But Para's (the BRG head gardener) memory and rose knowledge trumped the committee's as he proved that this rose bed is Eglantyne

Tess of the d'Urbervilles (Red Rose) and Iceberg (White Rose)
 Some of the original Tess of the d'Urbervilles roses didn't make it through the past few winters, so Iceberg (white) roses were planted on the perimeter of this bed (No. 11). The red-and-white roses mimic the colors of the Canadian flag, and bloom in time for Canada Day, July 1.

Abraham Darby Yellow Rose No.6 BRG Rose Garden Layout
Abraham Darby (No. 6) is the other yellow / apricot colored rose in the Garden, and shows a deeper orange/ apricot center. Evelyn (No. 2) can look the same when it first blooms, or is in bud, but Evelyn fades to pinky-peach, or peachy-pink.

Iceberg White Rose in Full Bloom at Brueckner Garden
White rose Iceberg is looking fine in its own bed (No. 5) as well as framing the crimson Tess in No. 10. With any or all of these pictures, click to enlarge, then click Back.

Rose Garden Viewed from Waterfront Trail
 Here's how the roses look from the Waterfront Trail along Tecumseh Creek.

Do stop by and 'smell the roses' this Canada holiday long weekend! Especially if you are planning to come to Port Credit to take part in the July 1 parade, entertainment and fireworks.

The Rose Garden The Early Years: See how the rose garden looked when first it was laid out and designed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pink, White, Red Peonies Blossoming This Week

The peonies are in bloom at Brueckner Rhododendron Garden but rain in the forecast could make for a short blooming period this year. Here are some pictures of a few of the stellar blossoms showing their true colors of pink, white and red this week.  See pictures of the rare yellow tree peony in bloom here.

Peony Blossom Deep Pink Border Light Pink Center
This gorgeous deep pink bordered peony flower has a double lighter pink center. Look for it (hopefully it's not been knocked about by the rains) in the main peony bed along the Waterfont Trail near the garden building.

Blooming Peony Garden with Blooming Rhododendrons
This unusual cool spring weather shifted the blooming times to a few weeks later in the season. Last year, the peonies were blooming on June 10 -- see these peonies in bloom here. There are still rhododendrons in bloom (background hillside), much later in June than usual.

Pink Tree Peony in Bloom
Several tree peonies have already bloomed and gone for the season, but a few tree peonies can still be seen amidst the bushier peonies.

Pink White and Red Peonies in Bloom on First Day of Summer 2011
Delicate pink peony, deep red peonies with two double white peonies in the Peony Garden along the Tecumseh Creek trail. Mulching last fall went a long way to keeping out weeds, and City of Mississauga park staff did a thorough weed earlier this year. As the peonies fill in and grow larger, extensive weeding should no longer be necessary. See the hosta garden near the peony beds to see how well hostas do their own weed control.

Peony with White Frilled Outer Petals, Double White-Yellow Center
Look at this beauty! At first glance, this white frilled peony with the pom pom white and yellow center may seem to be one white peony among many. Take a close look at every peony to see variations according to variety. These flowers are a photographer's delight!

White Peony with Yellow Daisy Center
This yellow daisy center white peony is likely a Top Brass peony but I couldn't be certain. See Peony Top Brass from June 25 , 2009, which was a later blooming season two years ago, the first season for the Peony Garden. The white space at the photo bottom left is also a white peony.

White Peony Blossom Opening
Here's another white peony with frilled outer petals and double center, but the center on this flower has less yellow than the one  in the photo above. While these peonies all had name tags when planted, over the past two years, most labels are gone. Some got lost or blew away over the winters, and others were taken by peony fanciers looking to buy the same plants for their own gardens.

Deep Pink Bush Peonies in Bloom
An early morning sprinkler left its mark with water drops on these deep pink peonies. These pink peonies as well as some red peonies can be found in the perennial bed on the north west side of the Garden office building (washroom building). In this sunnier location, these peonies are the first to come into bloom at the Garden. Since they line the perimeter of the perennial bed, they do need a bit of staking to keep them from drooping on the lawn (outside) edge of this bed.

 Roses In Bloom at Brueckner Garden
This week, the roses are coming into bloom as well, despite the best efforts of aphids to munch the blossoms. Early bloomers are Evelyn, Scentimental, and the mystery deep orange rose.

The Peony Garden has been re-vamped: See This Post January 2012.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yellow Tree Peony in Bloom (Sort of)

The only yellow tree peony in Brueckner Rhododendron Garden is in bloom. Sort of.

On Friday, this unusual yellow peony had three fat buds. Today (Tuesday), only one yellow peony flower is blooming. The other two buds that would have opened yesterday or Sunday have been cut off in their prime; all that's left is the cut on the stalk that marks their spot.

Thanks to a light-fingered flower thief, all that's left for the rest of us to admire and take pictures of is this one flower. And so, in case this last yellow tree peony flower is cut off in its prime, here are a few pictures to show how gorgeous it is.  And how gorgeous the other two blossoms would have been.

Yellow Tree Peony Three Buds
 Here is a picture I took on Friday. The first peony bud is front and center, and the second bud at the top of the bush directly above it. These are the two peony blossoms that were removed over the past few days.

Who would do such a thing? Someone who is simply thoughtless, or perhaps disassociated from the community around them. Or someone with an undeserved and unwarranted sense of entitlement.

Whatever prompted someone to think, "Oh ! Pretty! Let me just cut off those flowers and take them home with me," likely never thought that this yellow tree peony was more than just a pretty blossom, that it might have a history. And it does.

Why get upset about two peony flowers? It's what they represent: All the time and effort to get this unusual plant to bloom. That's reason enough in a public garden where plants are meant to be enjoyed by all. Three years of waiting for it to bloom and when it does, and before everyone can see it, someone cuts it off.

Yellow Tree Peony With One Bud Removed
 Here is the yellow tree peony with a red circle marking where the first bud and flower used to be.

Time and effort and public garden issues aside, we are upset because this is Rob's Yellow Tree Peony. Two summers ago, Rob, a longtime volunteer and plant donor (Rose Garden, Peony Garden, Lily Garden), came across this yellow peony. His first thought was to buy it and bring it to Port Credit. It would be a wonderful addition to the peony garden at the BRG.

Yellow Tree Peony with Second Bud Removed
 But then he reconsidered: Several tree peonies in the peony garden had already been dug up and removed by plant thieves. This unusual yellow tree peony would surely be a target. Instead, he put it in the care of a friend while he thought about when and where to plant it at Brueckner.

The friend put the yellow tree peony, pot and all, into the ground in a sunny location in her garden. As it was mid-summer, there would be no room to plant it until fall. In October, the yellow tree peony was given its own spot in a location that would see good spring and summer sun, yet be protected from the worst of the winter winds. Well mulched, the peony settled in for the winter.

Last June, the friend was moving, so the yellow tree peony was dug up and transplanted into Brueckner Garden.

But this yellow peony would not be planted in the peony bed, Rob decided. Instead, he chose a sunny location in the main annual bed, close to the path where visitors enter the garden. In this location, he reasoned, everyone would be sure to see it, and to admire its unusual color.

With this second transplanting in less than a year, the yellow tree peony didn't bloom. But it came through the winter in fine shape, and we all waited to see if it would finally bloom during this, its third year.

And so this spring, with Rob now too ill to come to the Garden, head gardener Para Kanp kept special watch on the yellow tree peony, likely the last plant Rob will ever donate. Bush peonies throw out buds like they are free, but tree peonies are more frugal with their blossoms, so we were happy with these three.

Yellow Tree Peony ~ Third Bud in Full Bloom
 And finally, here is the yellow tree peony in full bloom. This one blossom is all that remains. But isn't it gorgeous and well worth waiting for! What a wonderful addition to the Garden!

One bloom is better than none, I suppose. It's likely that the thief simply didn't see the third flower, tucked in the back as it is, so we are lucky to have it.

Yellow Tree Peony Red Center, in Flower at BRG Port Credit
This yellow tree peony will be moved to a new location, says Para Kanp, a location less visible to passing eyes and sticky fingers. Those who know where it is can enjoy it.

Like so many plants and trees in Brueckner, this is a memorial plant, one of dozens in the Garden. Some garden beds, plants and trees are marked with plaques, though many are not. But every plant is precious, and represents years of nurturing and care, of waiting for it to grow, to blossom. That's the payout for gardeners: Seeing the fruits of your labours.

Why steal plants from a public garden? I don't know. Last summer, the Toronto Star did a story about plant thieves in that city. Apparently stealing plants is more common than most of us would think, and it's not a high priority crime situation. Even when thieves are caught in the act on video, likely nothing will be done.

But gardeners are nothing if not optimistic, and there's always next year. And with a bit of care and lots of luck, next June, I can post photos of this yellow tree peony with lots of buds and gorgeous blossoms.

Then we can all admire Rob's yellow tree peony, the last and rarest of all the hundreds of plants he gave to the Garden, and the people of Mississauga.

Be aware that interfering with anything in our city parks is contrary to this by-law, which states, in part:

15. While in a park, no person shall:

Plant, prune, remove or damage any plant, shrub, flower, flowerbed, bush, sod,
grass, or any other vegetation unless otherwise authorized by the Commissioner;
or (133-06)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mississauga Mayor McCallion Rhododendron Garden Tour

Mississauga's mayor, Hazel McCallion, toured Brueckner Rhododendron Garden this afternoon. Today's visit had been rescheduled from a planned tour several weeks earlier. To the delight of all, and thanks to this cool spring season, many rhododendrons and azaleas were still in bloom.

David Culham, Mayor McCallion in Brueckner Garden
David Culham, chair of the BRG stewardship committee, outlined for Mayor McCallion the progress that had been made since her visit last year, showing her the hundreds of additional plants moved from the former Hancock Nursery last season.

Mayor McCallion, BRG Visitors in Heritage Garden
With the rhododendrons and azaleas in full bloom, and the peony and rose buds opening, there were many visitors to the Garden, like these fellows who stopped to chat with the Mayor McCallion in the Brueckner Heritage Garden. A wedding party limo pulled in shortly after, and members of the wedding party asked to pose for photos with Her Worship, who as always, graciously complied.

David Culham, Mayor McCallion at Brueckner Memorial Garden
While touring the hillside slope of the Brueckner memorial garden area on the west border of the BRG, Culham pointed out new plantings done over the past year. Currently, a number of hostas, Sweet William and Solomon Seal plants are being transplanted from this area to other parts of the Garden.

David Culham with Mayor McCallion
Culham, who also oversees Garden volunteers, shows Mayor McCallion where he had recently dug up some Solomon Seal to make room for rhododendrons and azaleas.

McCallion, Culham Tour BRG East Garden
Since Brueckner Rhododendron Garden covers nearly 18 acres (7.19 hectares), Culham used the golf cart to take the mayor to tour the East Garden. The pale purple Herbert azaleas can be seen middle right in this photo. Mayor McCallion was seeing these seven new East Garden rhodo and azalea beds (planted last summer and fall) for the first time.

Para Kanp (Head Gardener), Mayor McCalllion, David Culham
BRG head gardener, Para Kanp, and the Mayor discussed plantings and planting methods, as well as projects planned for the Garden. Upcoming improvements not directly related to gardening include signage for the Garden, an interpretive map, signs for important Carolinian forest trees and the new seating area overlooking Lake Ontario.

Culham, McCallion at Interim Place Garden, BRG Port Credit
Mayor McCallion spent some time at the Interim Place Garden, near the main entrance, where a plaque marks this as the site of the first Interim Place women's shelter, of particular interest to the mayor.

Mauve PomPom Rhododendron with Variegated Leaf Hosta
The still-blooming, late-blooming rhododendrons, like this mauve pompom, backdropped the more serious, business side of the tour of this unique City of Mississauga garden.

BRG Lake Ontario Lookout, Mississauga Ontario
 Another addition since Mayor McCallion's last visit are the three new benches at the lookout over Lake Ontario. Firmly placed on solid concrete footing, these benches are set to serve visitors for many years to come. The new lake lookout seating area is planned a few hundred meters to the east, across the south bridge.

Other issues of interest : Dogs off leash in the Garden (it's NOT a Mississauga leash free zone, despite the beliefs of several dog owners); picnic tables are located only in the East Garden and only for as long as space permits; and the work done by volunteers such as weeding and removing thousands of spent rhododendron blossoms.

Pilfered Plantings: The mayor was plainly shocked to learn that someone had dug up and taken away one of the new rhododendrons the night before. While this type of plant removal or taking of cuttings is rare and contrary to a City of Mississauga bylaw, unfortunately, it does happen. See two instances of plant pilfering: Yellow Tree Peony flowers and peony plants.

Overall, the Mayor expressed her appreciation of the work done by staff and volunteers since last year, and said that she looks forward to seeing the Garden in bloom next year.

And the Garden looks forward to showing itself off to her!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Marta Brueckner Rhododendron Garden Tour

Marta Brueckner visited the family namesake garden in Port Credit today to enjoy the rhododendrons in full bloom, including the Brueckner hybrid Hot Dawn. David Culham, who worked closely with the late Dr Brueckner to establish this Rhododendron Garden, accompanied Mrs. Brueckner through the Heritage Garden beds.

David Culham and Marta Brueckner at BRG Port Credit
 Perfect weather for a special tour with Marta Brueckner, shown above with David Culham, chair of the Garden Stewardship Committee.  Mrs. Brueckner, a longtime Mississauga resident, tours the Garden several times each year to see how the rhodos are faring.

Marta Brueckner with David Culham, Heritage Rhododendron Garden
 This year's cool spring weather has extended the rhododendron and azalea blooming season beyond the usual first week in June. A number of rhododendron varieties are still in fat buds likely to open by this weekend. If the weather remains fairly cool for the next week, rhododendrons may still be blooming by Canada Day, July 1, the latest date in recent memory.

David Culham, Marta Brueckner with Para Kanp, Head Gardener
 BRG Head Gardener, Para Kanp, joined Culham and Marta Brueckner to talk rhododendrons, a favourite subject for all three. About eight years ago, Kanp was instrumental in identifying a fungus attacking the rhodos. Prompt treatment saved dozens of rhododendrons.

BRG Visitors Chat with Marta Brueckner
 Culham introduced Marta Brueckner to this group who happened to be visiting the Garden at the same time. To their delight, she chatted with them and posed for photographs, and confirmed when asked that yes, she was formerly a piano teacher.

Marta Brueckner and David Culham in Rhododendron Garden
 Another picture of the nonagenarian 'Lady of the Hour' Marta Brueckner in the Heritage Rhododendron Garden chatting with visitors. While she toured this rhododendron bed on foot, Culham continued the tour through the rest of this extensive garden by golf cart.

Rhododendrons, Azaleas in Brueckner Memorial Garden
Rhododendrons in full bloom are what all concerned had come to see, and they put on a glorious show. Early bloomers such as the Brueckner hybrid rhododendron Bluenose (photos) and PJMs (photos) had flowered a month ago, and were finished for this year.

Rhododendron and Azaleas in Full Bloom BRG Port Credit Ontario
 Extensive plantings in 2010 resulted in a spectacular blooming show this year, thanks to the addition of hundreds of rhododendrons and azaleas, plus other trees and shrubs. Most of the new plantings were transplants from the former Hancock Nurseries on Camilla Road.

Brueckner Rhododendron Hybrid 'Hot Dawn'
Of special note is the fully blooming though still diminutive Brueckner rhododendron hybrid Hot Dawn, shown here in its bright red glory. The blooms almost overshadow any foliage, with many blossoms on each plant. A number of Hot Dawn are planted on the hillside that slopes down towards Lake Ontario near the three-bench lookout. 

If you haven't yet seen the rhododendrons in bloom, then do come visit in the next week or 10 days. While we can't promise a chance to meet Marta Brueckner, you may run into Mayor McCallion. But even without celebrity appearances, we can safely say you'll enjoy this rare, late-season blooming treat.

Update October 22, 2013

It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Marta Brueckner, on Sunday, October 20, 2013, at the age of 96.  

Born in 1917, Marta’s long and productive life was undoubtedly enriched by the many historical events she experienced across several continents, much of which she shared with family and friends and which touched us all.

Her talents were varied and far-reaching. Amongst her many accomplishments she will be remembered for her abiding love of music that inspired her success as a much loved and respected piano teacher in Mississauga and earlier, in Saint John, N.B. 

As a lover of all things beautiful, the flower gardens she created and nurtured are a lasting testament to her artistry and gentle nature and manifested in the devoted support she gave her husband in his life’s work with rhododendrons and the development of Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens, Mississauga.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lemon, Mandarin, White Lights Azaleas Blooming at BRG

Three related azaleas are currently in bloom at BRG in Mississauga: Lemon Lights, Mandarin Lights and White Lights.

As you may infer from their names, they reflect the colors of their blossoms: Yellow, Orange and White. Here are this week's pictures.

Lemon Lights Azalea in Bud East Garden
 Here's a photo of Lemon Lights in bud; look for this yellow azalea across the foot bridge(s) in the East Garden. From the first -- north -- bridge (closest to Lakeshore Road West), the bright blooms in new rhododendron and azalea beds will show you the way.

Lemon LIghts Azalea in Full Bloom
 Most of the garden beds in the East Garden were added late last summer, so this is the first blooming season for the rhodos and azalea since transplanting. Good planting techniques, good mulching and winterizing helped every plant make it through the winter in good condition.

Mandarin Lights Azalea at BRG Port Credit ON
 Mandarin Lights Azalea is a real attention grabber no matter where it's located. This beauty can be seen from the Garden office building south side; it's the blaze of orange on the hillside beds facing the office.

Mandarin Lights Azalea Full Blooms
 Here's a closer look at Mandarin Lights azalea from the hillside north-facing bed. In this photo, the view is south east towards the East Garden.

Azalea Mandarin Lights in bed with Rhododendrons
 Looking in the opposite direction from the photo above, here's Mandarin Lights and friends blooming in a bed that faces west towards the Brueckner Heritage Rhododendron beds.

White Lights Azalea in Bud ~ Port Credit ON
 A few weeks ago, White Lights azalea was the first of the 'Lights' to show buds, but now all three 'Lights' azaleas are in full bloom. Look for White Lights and Lemon Lights near each other, in the East Garden, and both types helpfully sporting large clear name tags!

Three White Lights Azalea Blossoms
 The 'Lights' azaleas all have large, exotic looking blooms, and are all hardy in colder climates. White Lights tinge of salmon pink will turn to pure white as the blossom matures. White Lights can handle full sun, too.

White Lights Azalea With a Pink Tinge
 The White Lights azaleas are especially gorgeous, and in this picture, still showing their blush of youthful pink. And their short stature underscores their youth: White Lights can grow up to seven feet tall.

BRG Head Gardener, Committee Members Garden Tour Group
While the weather wasn't clear and sunny for the annual Rhododendron Garden Tour, the rains did hold off for the afternoon.

Head Gardener, Para Kanp, and Brueckner Rhododendron Garden Stewardship Committee members led an enthusiastic group (shown here in the East Garden near the 'Lights' azaleas) throughout the various plantings.

The focus, of course, was on the rhododendrons and azaleas, now in full and glorious bloom.

See maps, location  and if you'd like to come help grow the garden, get in touch!

But come back often throughout the year to see what else in in bloom: The peonies are bursting any day now, the Rose Garden is in bud, and the wildflowers throughout the Garden are in bloom now and throughout the summer and fall.

Hot weather this week will accelerate rhodos and azaleas blooming, so plan a walk in the Garden as soon as possible to catch this once-a-year Rhodie Show :-)
See Mississauga News article for more.